SOURCE: Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

September 15, 2016 11:00 ET

Government of Canada supports data-rich research

New cyberinfrastructure funding to enhance virtual research networks across the country

MONTREAL, QC--(Marketwired - September 15, 2016) - The Government of Canada understands the central role researchers play in making the discoveries and innovations necessary to explore the nature of the universe or understand the effects of noise pollution on marine life. To advance their experiments, many researchers need powerful computational tools and access to digital networks to rapidly process large amounts of data and quickly share results with collaborators across the country and around the world.

Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie -- Le Sud-ouest -- Île-des-soeurs announced today more than $10 million in research infrastructure funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) latest Cyberinfrastructure Initiative competition as well as an additional $3 million through the Infrastructure Operating Fund. This funding will support seven projects at six universities across the country.

MP Miller made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Science at McGill University in Montreal, which is receiving more than $1.1 million for CBRAIN, one of the world's most advanced computing platforms for brain research. This field is critically important to help find cures for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke and Multiple Sclerosis and to better manage mental disorders, such as depression and stress.

With new CFI funding, CBRAIN will be able to combine huge amounts of data from genetics, brain imaging and psychological interviews with the help of massive computing resources to tackle these health challenges that touch all Canadians.


"The Government of Canada's infrastructure investments through the CFI help improve the quality of life for Canadians by giving researchers the infrastructure they need to find cures for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and mental health issues such as stress. The research enabled by these investments also supports the Government's vision to foster a rich culture of research and innovation in Canada that leads to a clean, sustainable economy and a strong, healthy middle class."

-The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"The CFI supports Canadian research and innovation at universities and colleges across the country. I look forward to the exciting collaborations this investment will inspire among the three projects at McGill and at the Université de Montreal."

-Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie -- Le Sud-ouest -- Île-des-sœurs

"There is an urgent need for Canada's researchers to share information with one another to get closer to breakthroughs," says Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. "With this mass of information spread out across the world comes the growing need to equip our great minds with better and faster virtual networks."

-Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

"We are grateful to the Canada Foundation for Innovation for this investment in Canada's future. The Cyberinfrastructure Initiative is giving our researchers the processing power needed to drive an unprecedented fusing of the physical sciences with digital technology and biology."

-Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University

"Lack of computational power is creating a bottleneck in the process of understanding and treating diseases of the brain. We have many ways to capture neurological data, but what are you supposed to do with it all? This new funding will help us create a causal model of complex diseases like Alzheimer's, analyzing its many elements and how they interact with one another."

-Alan Evans, professor of neurology, neurosurgery and biomedical engineering at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Quick facts:

  • Created in 1997, the CFI is contributing more than $10 million through its latest Cyberinfrastructure Initiative to encourage Canada's researchers to work with each other and with data scientists, data analysts and software developers using virtual networks, portals and the like to explore new solutions to interpret and analyze increasingly complex data sets
  • The Cyberinfrastructure Initiative aims to enhance the capacity of Canadian institutions and researchers to conduct leading-edge research in areas of demonstrated strength by supporting the infrastructure needs of computationally- and data-intensive research
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $3 million is being awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which helps institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

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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

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative

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

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.

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