Industry Canada

Industry Canada

August 05, 2011 14:43 ET

Government of Canada Supports World-Leading Health Research to Benefit Canadians

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2011) - The Government of Canada will provide funding for research to develop new treatments for lung, breast and ovarian cancers, as well as other life-threatening diseases. The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), today celebrated an investment in state-of-the-art research at the University of Waterloo that will lead to direct health benefits for Canadians, more effective health services and economic development in health-related areas.

"Our government supports health research because it improves the lives of Canadians," said Minister of State Bernier. "These investments will bring together world-leading scientists to seek solutions to important health care problems that can lead to new treatments and technologies that will help patients across the country and around the world."

On June 9, 2011, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced that 17 universities will share $15 million in funding through the Collaborative Health Research Projects Program—a partnership between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Collaborative Health Research Projects grants are designed to assist new projects that involve interdisciplinary collaborations between any field of the natural sciences or engineering and the health sciences. Two recipients at the University of Waterloo will share over $888,000 to develop less toxic treatments for children with cancer and to explore ways to improve the potency of antibiotics.

"The Collaborative Health Research Projects Program supports interdisciplinary research that is focused on finding innovative solutions to challenges in health-related fields. Being at the forefront of discovery and innovation, there is no doubt that the impact of this research will be felt here in Canada and around the world," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC.

The grant recipients, from 17 universities, were selected following a peer-reviewed competition. Each recipient will receive between $150,000 and $690,000 over three years. Among the projects funded by the Collaborative Health Research Projects Program are developments for a bioengineered cell delivery system to help repair spinal cord injuries; risk factors and an optimization model for breast cancer screening; a new intelligent, mobile device for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease; and the development of new technologies to assess the effects of the long-term exposure to air pollution on the Canadian population.

"This interface with NSERC is one of the frontiers of the health sciences," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "The Collaborative Health Research Projects brings scientific and engineering disciplines into the realm of health research to develop innovative technologies that are at the forefront of health care, including medical devices, robotics, and imaging. The Collaborative Health Research Projects Program has a huge impact on the application of health care and is a Canadian commercialization success story."

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. It supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, the agency provides leadership and support to more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

More information on the Collaborative Health Research Projects Program is available in the backgrounder.

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    613-943-6183

    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    613-943-7599

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502

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