Research and science are essential to creating opportunity for Canadians and finding solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow. That’s why the Government of Canada has committed more than $10 billion since 2016 to fund research and science, and that’s why its response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been guided by research and science. To keep Canadians safe and supported through this crisis, and to build back better for everyone, we will continue to make smart investments in Canadian research and those who power it.
On March 3, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced an investment, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, to support more than 100 research projects and almost 1,000 researchers across the country. Today, William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science), highlighted investments of more than $74 million in various research projects taking place at McGill University ($41.9 million), Concordia University ($723,417), Polytechnique Montréal ($3.1 million), Université de Montréal ($23.3 million), Université du Québec—École de technologie supérieure ($4.5 million) and Université du Québec à Montréal ($722,423).
At McGill University, $7 million of the more than $41-million investment will go to the Building Architecture Research Node, an interdisciplinary team of McGill researchers who, along with private and public sector partners, are aiming to develop regional, carbon-negative approaches to construction, linking sustainable forestry with timber innovations.
By continuing to invest in science and research, we’re helping create new jobs, a cleaner environment and healthier communities—now and into the future.
“Great science and research is the first step in driving innovation. Now more than ever, Canadians are looking to their researchers to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. Our government is proud to support these funding recipients, who are harnessing their expertise and dedication to make the important discoveries that will serve Canadians now and in the future.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical importance of investing in science and research. Our government has always supported Canada’s researchers as they tackle global challenges. Today’s announcement is another great example of our commitment to Canada’s research excellence.”
- William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science)
“Scientific research leads to discovery and innovation and we must be there to support our researchers with the state of the art infrastructure they need to be successful. Through this funding, our federal government is showing its commitment to the world class institutions we are so proud of right here in our community.”
- Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
“Investing in research is an investment in the future of Canada. Discoveries will lead to economic growth and will help solve the challenges the world faces today. These projects demonstrate the breadth and depth of Canadian expertise and excellence, and these awards are a tribute to the innovative researchers across the country.”
- Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation
The investments are made under the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund supports 40% of the eligible infrastructure costs of an institution’s research project, with the remaining portion coming from partners such as provincial and territorial governments and the institution itself.
The funding announced by the Prime Minister will be provided to 35 different universities, colleges and research institutions across Canada, with fourteen recipients in Ontario; nine in Quebec; four in British Columbia; two each in Alberta and Saskatchewan; and one each in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories.
- A full list of the universities, colleges and research institutions receiving this support, along with stories about some of the projects, is available in the CFI news release published on March 3.
- Projects are selected as part of Innovation Fund competitions, which take place every two to three years and include a rigorous merit review process.
In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada made an investment of $763 million over five years in the CFI to support state-of-the-art research infrastructure at Canadian universities, colleges and research hospitals. It also established stable funding of $462 million per year for the CFI starting in 2023–24.
In May 2020, the government announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included supports for universities and health research institutes to pay research staff and to maintain essential research-related activities.
This article was first published on 15 March by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.