Montréal, December 10, 2021 – Chief Scientist of Québec Rémi Quirion and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) welcome the proclamation by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) to make 2022 the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.

The declaration is in line with the position the Chief Scientist and FRQ have expressed in several forums on the need to support basic research, particularly to address major social challenges, including climate change, population aging and the ongoing global healthy crisis—especially in view of the fact that the development of COVID-19 vaccines is rooted in years of basic research carried out prior to the pandemic. In addition, work led by the scientific community in all knowledge sectors can certainly contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

That consideration was the starting point for a day of discussions hosted by the FRQ on June 23, 2021, with individuals from the academic and government sectors, as well as from foundations and community organizations, to optimally take the SDGs into account in their 2022–2025 strategic planning.

Bringing together high-level speakers and participants in workshops, the discussions helped identify the SDGs the FRQ should focus on as a matter of priority so as to integrate them into the agencies’ strategic directions given their joint mandate to support research, research training, knowledge mobilization and partnership development. A summary of the discussions is available here (in French). 

“I fully support the decision by the UN General Assembly: we must mobilize basic research for better understanding and innovation, decision-making and highly qualified personnel training. It is a critical pipeline for applied research leading to innovation and the creation of wealth. The FRQ intend to promote the SDGs in Québec in partnership with stakeholders and through means including the promotion of open science and of equity and diversity and inclusion in research. 

Rémi Quirion
Chief Scientist of Québec

Benoit Sévigny
Director, Communications and Knowledge Mobilization 
Fonds de recherche du Québec