VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2013) - Some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds working in diverse scientific disciplines will receive significant support from the Harper Government, through the Canada Research Chairs program, to pursue world-class research at post-secondary institutions across Canada. The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Q.C., Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East, today announced an investment of $8.8 million to support 14 Canada Research Chairs in British Columbia as part of the national announcement made by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).
"Our government is committed to attracting and retaining the world's best and brightest researchers, supporting innovation, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy," said Associate Minister Findlay. "By investing in programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, we are fostering cutting-edge research and the generation of new innovations for the marketplace, which will benefit Canadians."
The Canada Research Chairs program has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice in research and development. In total, the Harper Government will provide $90.6 million in support to 120 newly awarded and renewed Canada Research Chairs. The research, which will be conducted at 39 Canadian institutions, has potential benefits for Canadians and their families, businesses, practitioners and policy-makers. Of this total, 19 researchers have been recruited from abroad, including 10 Canadians returning to work in their home country-demonstrating the success of the program in attracting and supporting research excellence in Canada.
The Canada Research Chairs program invests approximately $300 million per year toward research in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences.
Today's event featured Dr. Loren Rieseberg, one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists and Canada Research Chair in Plant Evolutionary Genomics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Rieseberg and his team are working to better understand how new plant species emerge and evolve through a combination of genomic and ecological approaches. His team's work consists of using plants of the sunflower family to understand the emergence of new plant species, plant domestication and the evolution of weeds. Dr. Rieseberg's research will contribute to crop improvement and the training of skilled professionals in the life sciences field.
"The Canada Research Chairs program continues to support and attract many of the world's top researchers to Canadian post-secondary institutions," said Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Canada Research Chairs Steering Committee. "With the support of federal research investments announced today, chairholders will enhance our understanding of critical issues in ways that will improve our quality of life and strengthen Canada's international competitiveness."
Since 2006, the Harper Government has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovative firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and highly skilled workforce that are required for a prosperous economy.
As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Harper Government remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, pride in being a citizen of this country and personal financial security.
A complete list of chairholders is available on the Canada Research Chairs website (www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/chairholders-titulaires/index-eng.aspx).