In March 1996, the Government of Canada released a landmark strategy for science and technology (S&T). Entitled Science and Technology for the New Century – A Federal Strategy, the report highlighted the importance of S&T and innovation as key drivers of economic growth in an environment of global competition.  The main goals of the strategy were to:

  • Assess past performance of federal S&T activities and identify and emerging opportunities and needs
  • Set goals for federal S&T in order to meet opportunities and challenges
  • Ensure that the governance of federal S&T was well positioned to respond to challenges through availability of strategic advice

The Council of Science and Technology Advisors (CSTA) was created to help achieve these goals.  Its primary task was to provide strategic advice to the Cabinet Committee for the Economic Union on internal federal government S&T issues.

Several reports were issued by the CSTA from the late 1990s to mid-2000s, with publishing activities ceasing after a change in government in 2006.

In 2007, as part of its new S&T strategy (Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage), the Government of Canada announced that several existing scientific advisory bodies at the federal level would be merged. Following this announcement, the activities of the CSTA were absorbed into the new Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC).