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Summary of the evaluation of CANARIE

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

March 2019

Summary of the evaluation of CANARIE PDF - 154 KB

Program Description

  • CANARIE is a not-for-profit organization established in 1993 to support innovation in Canada by providing a national high-speed network that enables the research and education community to collaborate and exchange large volumes of data.
  • Funding is used to support the delivery of the network and CANARIE's other programs:
    1. The National Research and Education Network
    2. Canadian Access Federation
    3. Research Software
    4. Research Data Management
    5. Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research

About the evaluation

  • The evaluation examined the relevance, performance, and efficiency and economy of ISED's contribution to CANARIE.
  • It covers the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2018.

What the evaluation found

  • There is a demonstrated need for the federal government to continue supporting CANARIE in the delivery of a national high-speed network.
  • CANARIE has expanded its network access, speed and data capacity across Canada to support the research and education community and has facilitated collaboration to support knowledge creation and innovation.
  • CANARIE has helped to facilitate the development of information and communication technology (ICT) products and services via its Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research program, but there is limited evidence on the extent to which CANARIE has helped accelerate ICT commercialization in Canada.
  • CANARIE's model has been efficient in delivering a national network, resulting in increased savings, cooperation and coordination.
  • Although CANARIE has a clear governance structure to support the efficient delivery of a national network, the role of CANARIE's governing body in the area of research data management is unclear.

Recommendations (as agreed upon by management)

  1. ISED should consider reviewing CANARIE's eligible activities, particularly those pertaining to research software, research data management and the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research, to ensure that their objectives are clear and unique relative to those of other organizations in order to simplify Digital Research Infrastructure landscape for the research and education community.
  2. Consideration should be given to a review of expected outcomes in order to ensure that CANARIE's programs are aligned with its objectives.  ISED should review CANARIE's logic model to determine whether additional indicators and an associated data strategy should be developed to monitor CANARIE's impact on the commercialization of information and communication technology products and services.
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