Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

January 20, 2015 11:35 ET

Minister Holder Announces Investment in University Infrastructure

New funds for state-of-the-art research infrastructure will boost research capacity of 37 universities across Canada

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Jan. 20, 2015) - Today, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced more than $35 million in research infrastructure funding for universities across the country where scientists are pushing the boundaries of knowledge in areas as diverse as breast cancer prevention, Arctic science and intelligent drone technology.

The investment was made through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund, a fund designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by equipping them with cutting-edge research infrastructure.

The announcement was made at the University of Saskatchewan, where Dr. Lynn Weber leads a team of veterinary biomedical specialists who examine the cardiovascular health of household pets. Using Saskatchewan-grown peas, beans and lentils, Dr. Weber's research could present a new opportunity within the global pet food market for Saskatchewan pulse growers who were responsible for $3 billion in Canadian exports last year alone. In addition to the funding for Dr. Weber's lab, the University of Saskatchewan also received funding for infrastructure supporting research in biofuels, cancer and freshwater monitoring and rehabilitation.

Quick facts

  • The CFI is contributing $27 million for tools and infrastructure through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund to 37 universities across Canada. An additional $8.1 million will support a portion of the operational costs of CFI-funded infrastructure on these campuses.

  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. The Strategy is a vision and a roadmap to strengthen Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

  • The CFI's John R. Evans Leaders Fund supports the people, knowledge and innovation pillars of the Strategy, providing state-of-the-art tools and research infrastructure to develop highly skilled people and research, some of which is shared with business to improve and develop new products, processes and technologies.


"In our government's updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, we are making record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Canada has become a destination of choice for highly talented scientific researchers thanks in part to our support for world class university and college infrastructure which helps train the next generation of Canadian research talent."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"One of the key components to our government's updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy is to encourage and harness innovations resulting from academic-industry partnerships. Today's announcement demonstrates how research conducted at the University of Saskatchewan is supporting exciting new market opportunities for Saskatchewan's pulse growers, key to jobs and prosperity in our province."

- Kelly Block, Member of Parliament (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar)

"When the country's researchers have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities, they can ask bold questions, find remarkable answers and apply them in new and often unexpected ways. Their discoveries and innovations further Canada's reputation as a nation known for its research excellence."

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, CFI

"Thanks to new CFI-funded research tools, our researchers are working with industry partners-such as the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers-to come up with innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and help build healthy and prosperous communities. In fact, this veterinary project builds on renowned U of S research that paved the way for Canada's multi-billion-dollar pulse crop industry in the first place."

- Karen Chad, Vice-President Research, U of S

"With the CFI's support, we will install new ultrasound equipment that will give us the play-by-play of cellular activity in dogs and cats. How these cells respond to a diet partially made of pulses will help us develop nutritious pet food options to ensure the health and vitality of pets."

- Lynn Weber, Associate professor, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Related products

A full list of the funded projects is available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and tune in to our Youtube channel for videos about the difference CFI-funded researchers are making in Canada.

Associated links

Canada Foundation for Innovation

John R. Evans Leaders Fund

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator - An online directory of CFI-funded labs that are available to collaborate with the private sector.

Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada's universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world's top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA.

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada

    Michael Bhardwaj
    Media relations specialist
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    613-943-5346 (office)
    613-222-1910 (mobile)