SOURCE: Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

March 14, 2016 12:37 ET

Canada Invests in Cutting-Edge Infrastructure for Researchers

New State-of-the-Art Labs and Equipment Will Boost Research and Innovation at 26 Universities Across Canada

EDMONTON, AB--(Marketwired - March 14, 2016) - The Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, today announced more than $23 million in funding for 95 projects at 26 universities across Canada.

Canada is committed to providing strong support for new research innovation and infrastructure. Our researchers tackle issues that matter to the lives of everyday Canadians -- from finding more efficient ways to capture wind and solar energy to relieving arthritis pain by creating injectable cartilage tissue.

Today's investment was made by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund -- a fund designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by giving them access to cutting-edge research tools.


"Investments like today's in Canada's research infrastructure are incredibly important to the nation's future. They give Canadian researchers the tools they need to make new discoveries that will better the lives of Canadians today and for years to come."

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"The state-of-the-art equipment being used by researchers across Canada act as catalysts," says Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "A new NMR system that is being funded today, for example, will allow a team of University of Alberta researchers to not only develop invaluable therapies, but also kick start key research partnerships across Alberta that will strengthen the province's capacity to innovate in the field of medicine."

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, CFI

"The University of Alberta is home to some of the world's brightest minds and most advanced research infrastructure. The knowledge, discoveries and innovations that result are helping shape the future and improve the lives of Canadians and people around the world. With this new CFI funding we will expand and further strengthen our research capacity in a number of diverse areas, and continue developing the knowledge, technology and innovations needed to address some of the world's most pressing issues. On behalf of the university, I thank the CFI and the Government of Canada for their ongoing generous support, and congratulate our nine researchers, and their respective team members, on their funding success in this national competition."

- David H. Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

"This investment in Canadian science will allow us to see the altered proteins involved in human disease with the resolution, sensitivity and speed needed to design new therapeutic agents, and has prompted the launch of DiscoveryLab as a collaborative venture for drug discovery research."

- Michael Overduin, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta

Quick facts:

  • The University of Alberta is receiving more than $2 million for nine research infrastructure projects;
  • The CFI is contributing more than $18 million for tools and equipment through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund to 95 projects at 26 universities across Canada;
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $5 million was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure;
  • Among the researchers who will make use of new CFI-funded infrastructure is the University of Alberta's Michael Overduin. He will use it to zoom in on the atomic behavior of illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and infection;
  • As the lead of the National High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre, Overduin studies the molecular makeup of various materials, including diseased tissue;
    By tracking how molecules linked to a certain disease interact, he hopes to create new treatments and diagnostic tests to combat these kinds of illnesses.

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A full list of the funded projects is available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the difference CFI funding makes in Canada.

Canada Foundation for Innovation

John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator -- An online directory of CFI-funded labs that are available to collaborate with the private sector.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada's universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world's top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

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