Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

May 29, 2015 10:30 ET

Government of Canada Investments in State-Of-The-Art Research Facilities Help Improve Our Quality of Life and Create Prosperity

CHEO lab to diagnose rare diseases in children is one of 87 research projects being supported

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 29, 2015) - Today, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), accompanied by MP for Ottawa-Orléans Royal Galipeau, announced a $333-million investment for new research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) Innovation Fund. Canadian researchers across the country will build upon their advanced knowledge in areas ranging from mood disorders and robotics to food security and the search for rare diseases.

Dr. Kym Boycott, a clinical geneticist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), is receiving support to acquire an advanced genome sequencer that will help a nationwide network of doctors and researchers look for the genetic causes of rare diseases affecting children.

Ten-year-old Sienna Knapp has a rare form of epilepsy that could cause prolonged - and possibly lethal - seizures. Sienna's symptoms have been monitored by Dr. Boycott who has kept them under control with vitamin B6 therapy. Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa will be employing a suite of sophisticated research equipment to understand what causes rare genetic diseases among children like Sienna. The research tools will also be used to develop rapid diagnosis protocols and treatments to improve how we care for thousands of Canadian children suffering from rare, often debilitating, diseases.

The Government of Canada investments, made through the CFI, equip universities, colleges and research hospitals across the country with state-of-the-art tools and laboratories where researchers can discover and innovate. The University of Ottawa will receive more than $28 million to support a range of research infrastructure projects, including Dr. Boycott's Research Program for Rare Pediatric Diseases.

Quick facts:

- Approximately one in 50 children in Canada are affected by at least one of the estimated 7,000 rare diseases known to clinical researchers.

- The CFI's Innovation Fund supports transformative research infrastructure projects that enable the discoveries and innovations that improve the lives of Canadians.

- In all, $256 million will support 52 research institutions across Canada through the CFI's Innovation Fund, with an additional $77 million to operate and maintain research infrastructure.

- In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government of Canada proposed an additional investment of $1.33 billion in the CFI, the largest single investment ever made to support research infrastructure in the country.


"Our government recently introduced Economic Action Plan 2015, a plan that will ensure science and technology continues to create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians across the country. Today's investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure at universities, hospitals and other research institutions provides a foundation for the cutting-edge research that benefits and changes the lives of Canadians."

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

"Today, it is a pleasure to announce your Government's investment in advanced research, benefitting the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the University of Ottawa and the wider Ottawa community. The advances made here will help uncover the mysteries surrounding rare children's diseases and improve the quality of life for children and their families through improved therapies."

- Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa-Orléans

"In today's highly competitive research environment, the nation's researchers need access to the best tools and facilities that will make them stand out. The Innovation Fund puts them on a path to achieve prominence in the global research enterprise while ensuring their results deliver tangible benefits to Canadians."

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, CFI

"This vital funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation gives our scientists the state-of-the-art equipment they need to carry out world-class research that will lead to better care for our young patients and families."

- Martin Osmond, MDCM, FRCPC; Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director; CHEO Research Institute

"This announcement is further proof that the University of Ottawa is setting the pace for top research-intensive institutions in the country. We are host to the best and brightest: researchers who not only transform our world for the better, but also create a new standard of living for future generations. This funding will enable these exceptional people to pursue their research in cutting-edge facilities for the benefit of Canadians."

- Allan Rock, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

"Whether it is two children or 200 suffering from a rare genetic disease in Canada, our goal remains the same:
use state-of-the-art infrastructure, funded in part by the CFI, to rapidly diagnose their disease and then develop sustainable therapies that will make a tangible difference in the lives of our young patients and their families."

- Dr. Kym Boycott, Clinical Geneticist, CHEO; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Related products

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.

Associated links

Canada Foundation for Innovation

Innovation Fund

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

Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy

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. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA.

Contact Information

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

    Michael Bhardwaj
    Media relations specialist
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-943-5346 (office)
    613-222-1910 (mobile)

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada