Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 10:30 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair Introduced at University of Ottawa Ceremony

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Orléans, welcomed to the University of Ottawa Dr. Robert W. Boyd, one of 19 world-renowned researchers who have chosen to pursue their leading-edge research at universities across Canada. The event followed the announcement of the recipients of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program made earlier today at the University of Toronto by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

"The Canada Excellence Research Chairs program is an important part of the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy," said Mr. Galipeau. "By helping our universities attract and retain the world's best and brightest minds, this program is helping Eastern Ontario to develop and apply leading-edge knowledge and grow a world-class workforce, thereby positioning Canada as a true destination of choice for the world's top students and researchers."

For each Chair, universities will receive up to $10 million over seven years to support chairholders and their research teams in undertaking ambitious research programs. The complete list of chairholders, including the 13 universities where they will be working, is available at on the CERC website (

Dr. Robert W. Boyd, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics, will fabricate photonic crystals for a variety of applications in photonics and nonlinear optics using state-of-the-art technology. One procedure uses these photonic crystals to controllably slow down the speed of light. This ability can lead to important applications in optical telecommunication, new methods for laser radars to track the positions of distant objects and construction of spectrometers of unprecedented precision for environmental sensing.

"I am excited to be coming to the University of Ottawa, and I am committed to helping create an attractive multidisciplinary intellectual environment for its students and faculty," said Dr. Boyd. "Our research program will offer opportunities for us to build strong interactions with both the local scientific community and our international colleagues. The research itself should lead to new capabilities in the field of photonics for the benefit of society in general, and specifically for our academic, government, and private sector partners."

"The arrival of these globally respected researchers will have multiple benefits for Canada," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Tri-Agency Steering Committee. "Research chairs of this calibre working together with other researchers, students and post-doctoral fellows already in Canada will create meaningful new opportunities."

The CERC program was announced in Budget 2008 as part of the government's Science and Technology Strategy to help build expertise in strategic areas. Research conducted by the chairholders will focus on the areas of environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies.

"The University of Ottawa offers an outstanding, fertile and vigorous human, intellectual and technological environment within which Dr. Boyd's leading-edge research program can flourish," said Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa. "His leadership reinforces our unique concentration of scientists who bring these technologies to daily practical use for the benefit of all Canadians."

The CERC program is administered jointly by Canada's three research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, visit the CERC website (

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