Government earmarks millions for Canadian science and tech research

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is investing nearly $28 million to fund innovative research in 35 universities and colleges across the country, comprising 139 research projects in various areas including information and communications technologies and environmental science, according to a statement issued by CFI.

Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of CFI, made the announcement in Ottawa yesterday. The grant will be under the CFI’s Leaders Opportunity Fund, a program designed to provide the necessary infrastructure to attract researchers to Canadian institutions, in view of the increasingly intensifying international competition for knowledge workers, CFI said.

“Our government is committed to building a larger base of scientific expertise and to creating the right environment to improve Canada’s international reputation for research excellence,” said Prentice.

Prentice added that the government recognizes the importance of enhancing efforts to help commercialize scientific and technological innovations, which will, in turn, help “create better jobs, increase economic growth and improve our quality of life.”

Phillipson said providing the right infrastructure for research, through “modern, cutting-edge equipment and facilities” is vital to 21st century research.

“Without the infrastructure, (international researchers) quite simply wouldn’t be in Canada,” he said.

There are currently 193 researchers in Canada benefiting from the CFI program, including 50 international researchers.

The CFI is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure, with a mandate to strengthen the capabilities of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research facilities to engage in innovative research and technology developments.

To date, the agency has committed over $3 billion to support more than 5,500 projects in 128 research facilities across 64 municipalities in Canada.

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