Government of Canada

Government of Canada

October 22, 2010 10:10 ET

Harper Government Bolsters Canada's Knowledge Economy

Canada's Economic Action Plan supports world-leading research and creates skilled jobs across Canada

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2010) - Researchers will benefit from a new program that will, for the first time, provide stable, predictable, long-term funding to Canada's large-scale science facilities. The announcement was made by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, while touring a lab at Queen's University.

"Our government is investing in science and technology to improve the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and build a stronger economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This investment will ensure that researchers across Canada continue to have access to the latest equipment, technology and facilities in support of their cutting-edge research."

"Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) support enables our faculty and post-doctoral fellows to access the critical equipment and infrastructure required to conduct their leading-edge research," said Queen's University Principal Daniel Woolf. "Through the new Major Science Initiatives (MSI) program, researchers at Queen's and at universities across the country can continue to engage in large-scale collaborative projects."

The Harper government will invest in the CFI's newly created MSI program. Canada has a select number of large-scale research facilities that provide a platform for researchers from across Canada and around the world to work with the most advanced technology and equipment. These initiatives are typically too large, costly and complex to be supported by any one organization. Today, the Government of Canada is responding to advice received from various organizations, including its Science, Technology and Innovation Council, to provide more predictable and stable operational funding and to enhance the accountability of these facilities.

"In the global economy, knowledge, research and innovation are at the heart of economic growth and success," said Mr. Brown. "Canada's Economic Action Plan demonstrates our government's commitment to creating jobs and strengthening our knowledge economy, here in Ontario and across Canada."

"The MSI program will ensure that Canada's world-class facilities continue to receive the support they need to be at the leading edge of their fields," said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "The CFI is pleased to support the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy by delivering such strategic programs."

The government will invest $185 million to support a portion of the operating costs of select MSIs. Facilities eligible for the program must be owned by one or more eligible institutions, be unique in Canada, be accessible to researchers from across Canada and have received a single capital investment of at least $25 million from the CFI in the past. Funding for this program will be drawn from a $600-million investment announced by the Government of Canada as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Canada's Economic Action Plan remains timely and effective. The Plan is improving infrastructure at colleges, universities, federal laboratories and research facilities, and is creating new jobs. The government has introduced additional support for graduate students and internships, as well as support for research and technology leadership in Canada. Canada's Economic Action Plan is strengthening our knowledge economy, bolstered by Canada's leading position in the G7 for government investment in higher education research and development. For additional information, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (www.actionplan.gc.ca).

The CFI is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. Its mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the foundation has committed $5.3 billion in support of 6800 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

CFI practices have been recently called "world's best" by a panel of international experts, based on a third-party performance evaluation and value-for-money audit. For the complete evaluation, audit and panel report, visit the CFI website (www.innovation.ca/en/evaluation/ overall-performance-evaluation-and-value-for-money).

BACKGROUNDER

Major Science Initiative (MSI) Program Backgrounder

Canada has a select number of Major Science Initiatives (MSIs) that provide a platform for researchers from across Canada and around the world to work with the most advanced technology and equipment in order to be at the leading edge in their fields. These initiatives or facilities are typically too large, costly and complex to be supported by any one organization. Today, the Government of Canada is responding to advice received from various organizations, including its Science, Technology and Innovation Council, to provide more predictable and stable funding, and enhance accountability and oversight over these initiatives. 

An MSI that is owned by one or more eligible institutions, is unique in Canada, is accessible to researchers from across Canada and has received a single capital investment of at least $25 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in the past will be eligible to compete for funding to support a portion of its operating costs. 

The Government of Canada has allocated $185 million to enable the CFI to provide up to five years (from 2012-13 to 2016-17) of predictable operating support. As per its established practice, the CFI will provide, on average, 40% of the total operating costs of qualifying facilities. The CFI looks forward to continuing to support a number of key MSIs in Canada, in partnership with the other organizations and individuals that are involved with, and that benefit from these facilities. 

The CFI will also provide enhanced oversight over these facilities by:

  • setting out governance and management best practice expectations;
  • requiring appropriate corporate strategic planning and reporting; and,
  • undertaking periodic reviews of their science, management and governance as a condition of funding. 

As part of its normal process, the CFI will consult with key stakeholders prior to launching a competition in 2011.

As part of a $600 million investment announced by the Government of Canada in Budget 2009, this investment will ensure that the CFI continues to carry out its mandate into 2012 and beyond, promoting research excellence, while continuing to improve Canada's long-term competitiveness and the quality of life of Canadians. 

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    613-943-7599
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations
    613-996-3160
    613-447-1723 (cell)
    yves.melanson@innovation.ca