Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 22, 2014 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Business-Led Research Networks

Investment in Sudbury to Enhance Private Sector Role in Mining, to Find Solutions to Real-World Challenges

SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 22, 2014) - Networks of Centres of Excellence

Four research networks have been awarded $49.7 million over five years to address industry R&D challenges related to ultra-deep mining, green aviation, personalized cancer treatment and sustainable electronics manufacturing. The funding, which is the result of the most recent competition for the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) program, was announced today in Sudbury by the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario).

Quick facts

  • The networks will receive a total of $49.7 million over five years. They are:
    • Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN) - Sudbury - $15 million
    • Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence in Precision Therapeutics (PreThera Research) - Quebec City - $15 million
    • Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN) - Montreal - $12 million
    • Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process (ReMAP) - Toronto - $7.7 million
  • 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.
  • 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 by other sources, as partners pay at least half of each network's eligible direct research costs.

Quotes

"Our government is committed to supporting research that addresses private sector R&D challenges in key priority areas, for the benefit of all Canadians. The Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program enhances private sector innovation by blending academic expertise with the private sector's drive to solve real-world challenges. These networks bring expertise and stimulate private sector investment in R&D, innovation and competitiveness. For example, right here in Sudbury, researchers are finding solutions to today's challenges in mining in order to foster growth and stimulate the development of this important sector to the economy of Northern Ontario."

Greg Rickford, Minister of State for 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

Related products

- Backgrounder

Associated links

- Business-Led NCE competition

- Business-Led NCE program information

- Currently funded networks

Networks of Centres of Excellence

The Networks of Centres of Excellence, which manages the BL-NCE program, operates a suite of national funding programs on behalf of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada. NCE programs support large scale, multi-disciplinary collaborations between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, which focus Canada's research capacity on economic and social challenges, help 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.

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.

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.

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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
    1-800-328-6189
    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