Industry Canada

Industry Canada

January 31, 2014 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates New Business-Led Research Network in Quebec City

PreThera Research developing personalized cancer treatments and improving quality of life of Canadians

QUÉBEC CITY, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Jan. 31, 2014) - Industry Canada

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was in Québec City today to celebrate the new Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics (PreThera Research).

As a result of the 2014 Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) competition, PreThera Research was awarded $15 million. This support will enable the Network's researchers to apply their knowledge of biomarkers-proteins and genes used to identify subtypes of cancer and monitor their progress-in developing innovative, personalized treatments for individuals with cancer.

On January 22, 2014, Minister of State Rickford announced the results of the most recent BL-NCE competition. Four research networks, including PreThera Research, have been awarded $49.7 million over five years to address industry research and development (R&D) challenges.

Quick facts

  • The other three networks receiving funding as a result of the latest BL-NCE competition are
    • Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN) in Sudbury-$15 million
    • Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) in Montréal-$12 million
    • Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process (ReMAP) in Toronto-$7.7 million
  • BL-NCEs increase business investment in R&D and help companies grow, add value to products and services, create jobs, increase productivity and develop greener practices by merging academic expertise with the private sector's drive to respond to real-world challenges.
  • This is the second competition for new networks held since the BL-NCE program was created by the Government of Canada in Budget 2007. The program was made permanent in 2012 with annual funding of $12 million.
  • Funding is leveraged from other sources as partners pay at least half of each network's eligible direct research costs.

Quotes

"The BL-NCE program promotes private sector innovation by blending the expertise of researchers in post-secondary institutions with the private sector's drive to solve real-world problems. In supporting PreThera Research, our government is capitalizing on the expertise of researchers and the private sector, spurring investment in R&D and encouraging innovation in cancer research, a priority area for Quebecers and Canadians."

- Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"Companies are attracted to Business-Led Networks because they see clearly how these kinds of collaborations will add value to their bottom line. The program provides a way to bring together competing companies in pursuit of solutions to shared problems."

- Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Related product

  • Backgrounder

Associated links

- 2014 Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program competition

- Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program information

- Current Business-Led Networks of Centres Of Excellence

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Networks of Centres of Excellence

The Networks of Centres of Excellence, which manages the BL-NCE program, administers a suite of national funding programs on behalf of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada. NCE programs support large-scale, multidisciplinary collaborations between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations. These programs help focus Canada's research capacity on economic and social challenges, commercialize and apply research breakthroughs, increase private sector R&D, and train highly qualified people.

Backgrounder

Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program

Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) encourage the private sector to solve major R&D challenges by drawing on the talent and resources of postsecondary institutions and research organizations. The program funds large-scale collaborative networks, led by not-for-profit industry consortia, which bring a wide range of research expertise to bear on challenges identified by industry.

Business-Led NCEs increase business investments in R&D, help companies grow, add value to products and services, create jobs, increase productivity and develop greener practices by merging academic expertise with the private sector's drive to respond to real-world challenges. Launched in 2007 and made permanent by the government in 2012, the BL-NCE program also supports the training of skilled researchers, and connects the resulting ideas and talent to businesses seeking to bring innovations to market.

Businesses play a hands-on role in the networks' agenda and the design and execution of projects. Matching requirements mean that at least half of each network's research costs are paid by partners. BL-NCEs are unique among federal granting agency programs in that they allow network-funded research to take place at private-sector partners' facilities. The program focuses on five priority research areas:

  • Environmental science and technology
  • Natural resources and energy
  • Health and life sciences and technology
  • Information and communications technologies
  • Management, business or finance

2014 competition results

As a result of the 2014 BL-NCE competition, the following networks have been awarded funding over five years:

Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics

Funding: $15 million

Headquarters: Québec, Quebec

The Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics (PreThera Research) will help develop cancer treatments that are increasingly personalized for a particular patient by combining the latest discoveries in cancer biology with a new approach to clinical trials. The network's research program will take advantage of the current understanding that almost all tumours can be divided into smaller groups with a unique biomarker - a molecular signature that can be targeted by a specific drug. A growing database that identifies these biomarkers will make it possible to accelerate the identification of new drugs and to focus clinical trials on the portion of patients with a certain cancer who are most likely to respond to that treatment.

Ultra Deep Mining Network

Funding: $15 million

Headquarters: Sudbury, Ontario

The Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN) will help solve critical challenges that affect the international competitiveness of Canadian mining companies. Innovative tools will improve the safety and productivity of ultra-deep mines (deeper than 2.5 km) that produce gold, nickel, copper and other specialized metals. The results of research conducted in deep metal mines will help the oil and gas industry improve its ability to extract hydrocarbons from deep shale deposits. UDMN will also help members commercialize new technologies by offering the members the opportunity to carry out prototyping and testing of new products at actual mine sites. The network's activities will reinforce Canada's position as a leader in deep mining expertise, helping attract international investments in natural resources.

Green Aviation Research & Development Network

Funding: $12 million

Headquarters: Montreal, Quebec

The Green Aviation Research & Development Network (GARDN) helps make the Canadian aerospace industry more sustainable. Working with partner companies that span the full range of aerospace products and services, the network develops environmental technologies and processes that reduce aircraft noise and emissions. GARDN also ensures that companies address the environmental impact of their aircraft, engines and aviation systems throughout the life cycle to effectively reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector.

Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process

Funding: $7.7 million

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

The Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process (ReMAP) network will help Canadian electronics manufacturers compete globally by offering tools to bring innovative products to market faster. Bringing together academic partners, research organizations, and a wide range of companies, the network's R&D projects will focus on developing reliable and environmentally compliant materials such as lead-free solders, smaller and cheaper optical devices, and more efficient solar cells. Sharing resources and knowledge will help the electronics sector lower costs, improve processes and products, and become more environmentally sustainable.

Contact Information

  • Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    (Federal Economic Development Initiative
    for Northern Ontario)
    613-943-6177

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca

    Martin Leroux
    Media and Public Affairs Officer
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    613-943-7618
    media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca