Government of Canada

Government of Canada

August 26, 2010 12:10 ET

Harper Government Strengthens Canada's Long-Term Economic Competitiveness

Canada's Economic Action Plan Invests in World-Leading Research

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2010) - Researchers across Canada will benefit from new facilities and equipment, and universities will have more opportunities to develop and attract top scientists, thanks to a major Economic Action Plan investment by the Government of Canada. The announcement was made by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, while touring labs at the University of Alberta and the Université du Québec en Outaouais, respectively.

"Our government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This significant investment will help develop, attract and retain the world's best researchers at Canadian universities while strengthening Canada's long-term economic competitiveness."

The federal government will invest in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leading Edge Fund and New Initiatives Fund. The funding is supporting the renewal and expansion of research infrastructure across Canada that will support exceptional researchers and improve labs and facilities.

"As Canada begins to emerge from the global recession, investments in science, research and innovation are essential to creating and securing well-paid, skilled jobs, both now and in the future," said Minister Cannon.

"Tomorrow's prosperity depends on our ability to compete within a diverse, global economy — to get there, we need to start with competitive infrastructure," said Dr. Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta. "World-class facilities are a magnet for global talent, and these funds make a tremendous difference in researchers' capacity to conduct leading-edge interdisciplinary research and discovery learning."

"The Leading Edge and the New Initiative funds have been instrumental in supporting state-of-the-art research infrastructure in institutions across the country," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. "This additional investment from the Government of Canada will ensure our researchers continue to have the tools they need to remain competitive in the global economy."

The government will invest $200.5 million in the Leading Edge Fund and the New Initiatives Fund. Funding for this program will be drawn from a $600-million investment for research excellence as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Through these investments, the Government of Canada is working to ensure that the world's best science and innovation opportunities — as well as the world's best researchers — are right here on Canadian soil.

For additional information, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (www.actionplan.gc.ca).

For additional information on the Canada Foundation for Innovation, visit the Canada Foundation for Innovation website (www.innovation.ca).

BACKGROUNDER

Leading Edge Fund / New Initiatives Fund

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the government announced a $600-million investment in Budget 2009 to grow Canada's knowledge economy. The government's investment in the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is strengthening research excellence, while continuing to improve Canada's long-term competitiveness and the quality of life of Canadians.

The Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, announced by Prime Minister Harper in 2007, supports the Leading Edge Fund (LEF) and New Initiatives Fund (NIF). Supporting innovative and transformative infrastructure projects leads to scientific breakthroughs and produces social, economic, environmental and health benefits for Canadians. Open to all disciplines, the LEF and NIF strengthen and enhance Canada's capacity for leading-edge research and technology development.

The LEF sustains and further enhances the most advanced research and technology development efforts already underway. The LEF is intended to help institutions build on their existing areas of research priority — areas where they have a competitive advantage and a proven track record in building Canada's science and technology capacity.

The NIF is helping to build Canada's capacity in new, promising areas of research and technology development. Its goal is to improve the country's competitiveness and international leadership in science and technology through new infrastructure projects. These job-creating projects have the potential to lead to important scientific breakthroughs and produce a range of benefits for Canadians.

Consultations with the higher education research community confirmed that this CFI core program is highly effective. Consequently, the CFI will invest an additional $200.5 million ($155 million for infrastructure and $45.5 million, representing 30 percent of the value of awards, for operating costs) to support research infrastructure projects in eligible institutions on a competitive basis across Canada. The primary focus will be on ensuring that CFI investments remain at the leading edge and are world-class.

Further information will be provided shortly on the rollout of this competition for which financial resources will be available from 2012–13 through to 2016–17.

Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan remains timely and effective. The Plan is improving infrastructure at colleges, universities, federal laboratories and research facilities, and is creating new jobs. The government is introducing additional support for graduate students and internships and is supporting research and technology leadership in Canada. The Economic Action Plan is strengthening our knowledge economy, bolstered by Canada's leading position in the G7 for government support of higher education research and development. For additional information, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (www.actionplan.gc.ca). 

The Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. Its mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the Foundation has committed $5.3 billion in support of 6800 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

The Foundation's practices have been recently called "world's best" by a panel of international experts, based on a third-party performance evaluation and value-for-money audit. For the complete evaluation, audit and panel report, visit the Canada Foundation for Innovation website (www.innovation.ca/en/evaluation/ overall-performance-evaluation-and-value-for-money).

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft - Director of Communications
    613-943-7599
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations
    613-996-3160
    613-447-1723 (cell)
    yves.melanson@innovation.ca