Industry Canada

Industry Canada

January 13, 2015 13:44 ET

Federal Government Invests in Autism, Cerebral Palsy and FASD Research

Vancouver-based NeuroDevNet will focus on improving the quality of life of Canadian children affected by neurodevelopmental disorders

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 13, 2015) - Industry Canada

Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, on behalf of his colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced the renewal of funding for NeuroDevNet. This Vancouver-based national network will receive an additional $19.6 million to support collaborative research aimed at developing a new understanding of, and treatments for, children affected by neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism, cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

As one in six children is affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder, there is a need to expand diagnostic capabilities and introduce new therapeutic options. NeuroDevNet researchers and partners will investigate the genetic and environmental causes of these disorders and improve our understanding of children's brain development. This multi-partner research collaboration will provide health care professionals and caregivers with the information they need to support affected children and their families.

Today's investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. In addition to NeuroDevNet being renewed for a second five-year term, the competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

  • On December 15, 2014, the Government of Canada named five research networks to conduct groundbreaking research that is focused on addressing major social, economic, or health- and life sciences-related issues:

    New
    • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life-AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
    • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment-BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • Canadian Glycomics Network-GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
    • Canadian Arrhythmia Network-CANet (London, Ontario)

Renewed

  • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.
  • Today's announcement of renewed funding for NeuroDevNet brings the total federal investment to $39.2 million, which includes the $19.6 million it received in 2009 when it was first established as a network.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • The Networks of Centres of Excellence program corresponds to all three pillars of the renewed science, technology and innovation strategy: knowledge, people and innovation. Each network develops highly skilled people, builds research knowledge and shares this expertise with business to improve processes and technologies.

Quotes

"Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research in the important areas of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nationwide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including NeuroDevNet, which will develop new tools and processes to detect and treat brain disorders in children. These investments will improve the quality of life of young Canadians and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada."

- Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

"It is wonderful to have this affirmation of the importance of NeuroDevNet's work in improving the quality of life of children with neurodisabilities and their families. For the one in six children affected by a condition such as autism, cerebral palsy or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder-and those who care for them-the future looks brighter. Five years of additional funding will enable NeuroDevNet to move many initiatives from our first years as an NCE to bring about new policies and practices that benefit children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our partners and stakeholders will be crucial to this exciting process."

- Dan Goldowitz, Scientific Director, NeuroDevNet

"NeuroDevNet's talented researchers have made major advances in understanding various childhood brain disorders. Renewal of the network's funding is testimony both to its past achievements and the quality of its research plan for the coming five years. We look forward to seeing the ongoing impact of this work on improving diagnosis and treatment for kids with conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and FASD."

- André Isabelle, Associate Vice-President, Networks of Centres of Excellence

Associated links

NCE competition results

NCE program information

Currently funded NCEs

Science, technology and innovation strategy: Seizing Canada's Moment

Follow us on Twitter: @industrycanada

Backgrounder

Announcement of NCE Competition Results

Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds from many disciplines and sectors in efforts to solve major social, economic or health issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale, collaborative research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Funded networks integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations in a shared effort to generate and implement solutions to problems. In 2013-14, partner organizations of the networks added $63.4 million of financial and in-kind support to the funding from the NCE.

International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some in the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

The NCE program currently supports 14 research networks.

RENEWED NETWORK

NeuroDevNet ($19.6 million), headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia

As one in six children is affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy, autism or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), there is an enormous need to improve diagnostic capabilities, develop new interventions, introduce new clinical practices, and better support affected children and their families. NeuroDevNet researchers from multiple scientific disciplines collaborate with community, industry, government and not-for-profit partners to understand the genetic and environmental causes of these disorders. The network supports high-impact and transformative research, and the translation of this research into tangible benefits, and provides innovative training opportunities to seed a new generation of highly skilled Canadian researchers. This collaborative effort is providing health care professionals, policy-makers, caregivers and families with tools and information to promote earlier diagnosis, better treatment and optimal outcomes for children today and in the future.

NeuroDevNet collaborates with the following partners:

Companies
Ambulatory Monitoring, Inc.
Avertus Epilepsy Technologies Inc.
SR Research Ltd.
Pfizer Canada Inc.
Non-governmental organizations
Alberta Children's Hospital
Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions
The Ability Hub
Autism Speaks Canada
Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres
Canada FASD Research Network
Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre of CHU Sainte-Justine
The Centre for Mindfulness Studies
Child & Family Research Institute
Children's Sleep Network
Club Aviva Gymnastics
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Health Sciences Centre Foundation
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
ISAND (Integrated Services for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Mitacs
National Institutes of Health
Norlien Foundation
Ontario Brain Institute
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
Sinneave Family Foundation
Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
THREE TO BE
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
University of Southern California
Women & Children's Health Research Institute
York University
Government
British Columbia
International academic organizations
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
INCF (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility)
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    343-291-2700

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca