Government of Canada

Government of Canada

January 20, 2011 09:53 ET

Harper Government Supports Research to Strengthen Economy and Quality of Life of Canadians

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2011) - Scientists at universities across Canada will undertake new research that will lead to discoveries such as the detection of osteoporosis, the personalization of cancer treatment, advances in communications technologies, and other areas of importance to Canadians, thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada. The announcement was made today at University of Waterloo by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre. They were joined by Janet Walden, Vice-President, Research Partnerships Programs of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

"Supporting science and research is critical to Canada's future economic growth," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will bring together 100 teams of some of the world's top researchers to work with industry on promising new projects that will help strengthen our economy, create jobs and bring other benefits for communities, including right here in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge."

In total, the government will invest $55 million through NSERC's Strategic Project Grants Program in support of more than 120 research teams.

"These Strategic Project Grants show that the NSERC community has risen to the challenge and is putting the federal S&T strategy to work," said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "We have received a high number of quality submissions, and the peer review committees evaluating them are impressed with the excellence of the research teams, the importance and potential impact of the proposed research, and the strong support from partners."

The grants support early-stage project research led by at least one researcher and a supporting organization. The goal of the program is to increase research and training in areas that could strongly influence Canada's economy, society or environment in the next ten years.

Through this new investment, the University of Waterloo will receive $2.6 million for five projects that encompass various areas of research, ranging from biomedical technologies such as the non-invasive detection of osteoporosis, to the development of digital signalling for fibre-optic communications and information technologies.

Investing in new ideas is important for communities like Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge," said MP Woodworth. "The breakthroughs that come from today's research will help Canada remain a leader in the knowledge economy."

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 postsecondary 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 postsecondary research projects.


2010 Strategic Project Grants

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Strategic Project Grants (SPG) program is an instrument for addressing the nation's science and technology priorities.

The primary goal of the SPG program is to increase research and training in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada's economy, society and/or environment in the next 10 years. The program aims to encourage collaboration among academic researchers and industry and government partners.

The SPG program will also contribute to:

• Generating new knowledge/technology with the strong potential to strengthen Canada's industrial base, generate wealth, create employment and/or influence Canadian public policy;

• Increasing the number of highly qualified personnel in the targeted areas;

• Fostering the increased participation of Canadian-based companies and/or government organizations in academic research; and,

• Enabling the transfer of knowledge/technology and expertise to Canadian-based companies that are well positioned to apply the results for economic gain, or to government organizations to strengthen public policy.

The 122 projects selected in the 2010 competition range from biomedical technologies, such as the non-invasive detection of osteoporosis, to the development of digital signalling of fibre-optic communications. They will provide an enhanced training environment for highly qualified personnel, as well as facilitate the transfer of knowledge from research and development to implementation in local Canadian communities.

For more information, please visit the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Website (

Contact Information

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canadaa
    Danielle Nasrallah
    Senior Communications Advisor
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations