Industry Canada

Industry Canada

March 17, 2009 11:44 ET

Government of Canada Provides Support to Canada Research Chairs at Eight Universities in Western Canada

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), celebrated an investment of $23 million to fund 31 new or renewed Canada Research Chairs at eight universities in western Canada. This includes $1.2 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure to facilitate the work of 11 chairholders receiving funding under today's announcement.

"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 Minister of State Ablonczy. "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 Canadians' quality of life and strengthens the economy for future generations."

Today's event features Dr. Joanne Roberts, the new Canada Research Chair in the Economics of Organizations at the University of Calgary. Dr. Roberts is analyzing how incentive schemes in public institutions have important consequences for behaviour and beliefs. Her research has the potential to reveal details about how the design of incentive schemes affects important policy outcomes, in particular how the design of university funding affects research outcomes and how legal incentives affect the desire of prosecutors to plea bargain and the public's perception of police reliability.

"Since its inception, the Canada Research Chairs Program has helped to make Canadian universities world-class research centres," said Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 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 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 31 chairholders receiving funding under today's announcement will conduct research in many different fields of direct interest to Canadians.


Canada Research Chairs Program

List of recipients, February 2009

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. There are currently 1831 research professorships at 70 universities across Canada. Of these positions, 574 researchers were recruited from abroad, including 265 Canadian expatriates. For more information on this announcement, including detailed research profiles for each chairholder, visit

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 non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. For a complete listing of CFI contributions, please visit

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    Canada Research Chairs Program
    Trevor Lynn
    Manager, Communications
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations