Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

January 24, 2012 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Announces Research Funding to Drive Job Creation and Economic Growth

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2012) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today announced support for 132 research projects in 31 communities across Canada to be delivered through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is providing $33 million to support Canadian researchers in their work - ranging from improving oil sands processing to social media research. The funding includes $25 million through the Leaders Opportunity Fund and $8 million through the Infrastructure Operating Fund.

"Canadian communities are benefiting from the high-paying jobs created through innovation and research," said Minister Goodyear. "Investments in research and development are ensuring that our scientists - and the businesses they support and start - can compete globally."

From the most advanced medical technology, to the latest opportunities in business and finance, the funding will support researchers from universities and hospitals across the country. Research funded through the CFI at the University of Alberta will explore new ways to process oil sands that are environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

"Canadians from coast to coast to coast can be assured that Canada's research community is bringing its talents to bear on the problems that matter to them," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, Canada Foundation for Innovation President and Chief Executive Officer. "This round of investment illustrates the value of research and innovation in building stronger, healthier and more prosperous communities."

CFI funding is awarded through a rigorous, objective and merit-based competition process. The Leaders Opportunity Fund has a legacy of supporting research in communities across Canada. Visit for more information on research in your community.


Some of the projects being supported through this latest round of LOF funding include:

  • Solutions for the growing oil sands industry

Through deepening their knowledge of the science behind bitumen, researchers at the University of Alberta are working to develop more sustainable techniques for oil extraction and refinement. This research will result in improved oil sands processing techniques while maintaining environmental stewardship.

  • A more personalized approach to cancer treatment

Researchers at the University of Toronto are developing new imaging methods to help physicians rapidly identify ineffective chemotherapy or other cancer treatments and adjust a patient's course of treatment. They are also working on making radiation treatments 50 to 100 times more effective, potentially reducing the level of radiation required. This research has far-reaching implications, since more than 50 percent of cancer patients undergo radiation therapy.

  • Reinforcing bridges and overpasses

Only 50% of Quebec's bridges and overpasses are currently considered to be in good condition. Researchers at Université de Sherbrooke are working on a way to boost this figure to 80% and improve the safety of Quebec's 9,000-odd provincial and municipal bridges and overpasses. Among the methods being developed to reinforce these aging structures are real-time simulations of impact loads on bridges.

  • Supporting prosperous farming communities

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are working with Prairie farmers to diversify their income sources and agricultural productivity through agroforestry, the integration of trees in farmland. Promoted for the production of biomass, a source of energy, agroforestry may also restore soil productivity in marginal lands, helping farmers remain profitable.

  • Links between early painful experiences and dealing with distress as an adult

Researchers at York University suspect that how parents and caregivers soothe infants during painful experiences such as vaccination may have an effect on how children cope with distress later in life. The team at York are exploring how managing pain properly in early childhood may affect health in adulthood.

  • The networked world ― delivering on the promise of social media

Researchers at Dalhousie University's Social Media Lab are creating a hotbed for social media research in Atlantic Canada, helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations understand how to engage in online conversations with Canadians. The Social Media Lab plans to form a social media analytics company, ensuring that research conducted at the lab generates real opportunities in the community.

Contact Information

  • For more information and interview requests
    Ryan Saxby Hill
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-294-6247 (mobile)

    Jay Jacobson
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State for Science and Technology