Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

September 01, 2011 11:00 ET

Federal Investment in Research Spurs Growth and Innovation

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2011) - Seniors suffering from Parkinson's disease and babies born prematurely are just some of the those who will benefit from new investments in research infrastructure by the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced new funding in researchers and universities across Canada to provide them with the cutting edge equipment and facilities to be the best in the world and stay the best in the world. This funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will support leading-edge research and recognizes the importance of knowledge and innovation in today's global economy.

"Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen the economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This investment will make sure that our scientists have the tools they need to be successful, and help Canada develop, attract and retain the world's best researchers."

"CFI investments provide vital infrastructure in communities across the country and create opportunities for leveraging the work being undertaken by our enterprising researchers," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, Canada Foundation for Innovation President and Chief Executive Officer. "Cutting-edge research facilities are magnets that attract the best talent from around the world, allowing them to work with business and train a new generation of Canadian researchers and innovators."

Getting more from research investments

The Canada Foundation for Innovation will invest $53 million to create the knowledge, solutions and new products and services that Canada needs to compete globally. This investment, made under the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF), will support 207 projects at 42 Canadian research institutions across Canada. These projects will deliver real results that improve the health, well-being and security of Canadian families, communities and businesses.

Here are some of the projects being supported through this latest round of LOF funding:

  • Severe weather research helps prevent the loss of life and injury. Better understanding and predicting severe weather may help prevent the loss of life and injury as well as help reduce insurance costs. It will also help reduce the vulnerability of agricultural communities to extreme weather and protect economic activity in regions at risk. The work being undertaken by the research team at the University of Manitoba will help ensure the safety and security of Canadians in every region.
  • Isolated social media generation faces mental health issues. Cutting, scratching and self-injury are signs of despair and isolation for too many youth. According to a 2009 study, as many as 1 in 4 youth and young adults have self-injured. This problem is likely to increase with the coming of age of the social media generation. This is why the work being undertaken by the research team at the University of Guelph is vital, as self-injury is seen as a strong risk factor for suicidal behaviour.
  • Smart materials help municipalities extend the life of public infrastructure. Researchers at the University of British Columbia are helping to address the pressing challenge of upgrading Canada's aging and deteriorating public infrastructure, as well as mitigating the tremendous risk that is related to the seismic vulnerability of infrastructure in Canada, and in particular British Columbia. New smart materials will not only enhance the safety of the infrastructure but also result in know-how and commercial products for Canadian companies to export around the world.
  • Nurturing premature babies to ensure better health outcomes. Preterm birth is the major cause of neonatal mortality in developed countries. Researchers at the University of Alberta are aiming to reduce the rate of preterm birth by improving prenatal care and reducing the rate of disease often associated with preterm delivery. The work of the team will benefit all those working in prenatal care of expecting mothers – be they obstetricians, nurses, midwives or other health care providers.
  • Healthy aging – There is much more to good quality sleep than a good night's sleep. Canada's population is rapidly aging. By 2030, people over 65 will represent 21% of the population. Among the neurodegenerative conditions associated with aging, Parkinson's disease is expected to represent a serious challenge to society. That's why a research team at the University of Montreal is investigating the link between sleep and diseases such as Parkinson's. They are working to develop prevention strategies and novel therapies to help over 100,000 Canadians and their families cope with this brain disease.

The CFI's funding is awarded through a rigorous, objective, merit-based funding competition process. A full list of the funded projects is available online www.innovation.ca.

Created by the Government of Canada in 1997, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) builds our nation's capacity to undertake world-class research and technology development to benefit Canadians through investments in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions.

For broadcast use:

Seniors suffering from Parkinson's disease and babies born prematurely are among the Canadians who will benefit from $53 million in new federal investments in research facilities across the country. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Contact Information

  • Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-996-3160
    Cell.: 613-447-1723
    yves.melanson@innovation.ca

    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    613-943-7599

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502