Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 12, 2012 12:30 ET

Harper Government Invests in Research Excellence Across the Country

Canadian universities retain and attract brightest minds with federal funding

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2012) - Top researchers at post-secondary institutions across Canada will continue to spur innovation thanks to a Harper Government investment in the Canada Research Chairs program. These world-class researchers bring new perspectives and solutions to the critical issues facing Canadians today, addressing challenges across Canadian universities' fields of research in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. While speaking at the University of New Brunswick, the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today celebrated funding of $121.6 million in support of top researchers.

"Our government's top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Ashfield. "By investing in talented people through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, our government is supporting cutting-edge research in Canadian post-secondary institutions. This fosters innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, where they can touch the lives of Canadians."

In total, $121.6 million is being invested to support 155 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs. These chairholders will undertake new, cutting-edge research at 42 Canadian post-secondary institutions. This Harper Government investment allows Canadian post-secondary institutions to strengthen their position as global leaders in research and development, bringing greater economic opportunities for Canadians.

Today's event at the University of New Brunswick featured Dr. Ying Zheng, who is working to develop the next generation of biofuels. Dr. Zheng, Canada Research Chair in Chemical Process and Catalysis, and her team are looking for cost-effective ways to improve the process of producing high-quality biofuels that are compatible with petroleum fuels and reduce energy consumption during the refining process. These new developments could help Canada reduce C02 emissions and strengthen its global leadership in renewable fuels research.

"This chair will allow me and my team to build on and investigate previous discoveries of catalysts and catalytic processes as well as develop high-quality biofuels that are cost-effective and compatible with petroleum fuels," said Dr. Zheng. "The ultimate goal of our research is to find ways to produce new biofuels that will reduce emissions and require less energy consumption."

"In addition to providing funding to the exceptional researchers already working in Canadian universities, the Canada Research Chairs program brings some of the brightest scholars to the Canadian research landscape, transforming our institutions into world-class research centres," said Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Chair of the Canada Research Chairs Steering Committee. "With this federal funding, chairholders will improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness and train the next generation of highly skilled people."

The investment announced today also includes an additional $7.1 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards.

"Canada Research Chairs are working in areas of strategic importance to Canadians," said Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. "The infrastructure investments that we are making as part of these awards will leave a lasting legacy in the communities where these researchers work."

The 155 chairholders will conduct research in diverse fields, with potential benefits for policy-makers, businesses, practitioners and Canadians.

A complete list of chairholders is available on the Canada Research Chairs website (

Details on the CFI's funding for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards are available on the CFI website (

Contact Information

  • Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada