Industry Canada

Industry Canada

April 07, 2009 10:16 ET

Government of Canada Provides Support to Canada Research Chairs at 14 Ontario Universities

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - To help further research and development in Canada, Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced 61 new or renewed Canada Research Chairs for 14 universities across the province of Ontario. Scientists and researchers at these universities will be able to conduct more research in the areas of natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities and social sciences thanks to this funding commitment by the Government of Canada.

"Our government recognizes the important role that research excellence plays in furthering innovation and competitiveness, two main elements in our science and technology strategy," said Mr. Preston. "This is why we announced a $5.1-billion investment in science and technology in Budget 2009 - Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Canada Research Chairs Program helps universities attract and retain the best researchers in Canada and in the world, which promotes job creation, enhances the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy for future generations."

Today's event features Dr. Peter Rogan, the new Canada Research Chair in Genome Bioinformatics at The University of Western Ontario. Dr. Rogan and his team are developing new ways to identify and interpret disease-causing genetic variants so that patients can get personalized molecular diagnoses. These diagnoses have the potential to reveal details about our individual natural histories of disease and responses to therapy earlier and more precisely than previously possible, giving more patients an opportunity to overcome disease.

"Since its inception, the Canada Research Chairs Program has helped to make Canadian universities world-class research centres," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and chair of the program's steering committee. "By recruiting renowned experts and retaining them in Canada, our universities are able to create conducive environments for groundbreaking research, as well as highly stimulating settings for training the next generation of researchers and leaders from all sectors of society."

"By investing in leading-edge research throughout the country, we are ensuring that Canada remains competitive in the knowledge economy," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). "The partnership between the Chairs program and the CFI has allowed our universities to attract and retain the best and brightest minds amid intense sustained international competition."

The $58.6-million investment announced today for the 61 new or renewed Canada Research Chairs across Ontario includes $2.9 million from the CFI. Four chairs are being funded at The University of Western Ontario, two of which are new.



BACKGROUNDER

Canada Research Chairs Program

The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping Canadian universities achieve research excellence in health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities. Since the program was launched, chairholders have improved Canadians' depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthened the country's international competitiveness, and helped train the next generation of highly skilled people. As of February 2009, there are 1831 research professorships at 70 universities across Canada. Of these positions, 574 researchers were recruited from abroad, including 265 Canadian expatriates. For information on the researchers included in today's announcement, please consult their detailed research profiles at www.chairs.gc.ca. You can also see the list of recipients - February 2009 (http://www.chairs.gc.ca/web/media/lists/2009/List_of_recipients_Feb2009.pdf).

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. For a complete listing of CFI contributions, please visit www.innovation.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    613-943-7599
    gary.toft@ic.gc.ca
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Canada Research Chairs Program
    Trevor Lynn
    Manager, Communications
    613-992-7302
    or
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations
    613-996-3160