Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 11:12 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chairs Introduced at University of Waterloo Ceremony

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Waterloo, welcomed to the University of Waterloo Dr. David Cory and Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen, 2 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 Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting world-class research," said Mr. Braid. "The CERC program helps to position Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. The cutting-edge research conducted by these global leaders will spur innovation in Waterloo Region and positively contribute to Canada's competitiveness and future prosperity."

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 on the CERC website (

Dr. David Cory, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing, is a pioneer and leader in this cutting-edge field. Quantum information processing promises to touch nearly every aspect of our lives, from the ways we interact with each other to how we process and store knowledge. Dr. Cory's research is expected to contribute toward the world's first generation of practical quantum devices and these new quantum technologies will have immediate and future applications in medicine, communications, biochemistry, physics and nanoscience.

"This chair will provide the resources needed to design, fabricate and test a first generation of quantum devices," said Dr. Cory. "Over the pas decade, the engineering of quantum systems has become a reality. Now we aim to deploy quantum devices."

Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology, will increase our understanding of how groundwater and surface waters interact, and how these interactions affect the health of human populations and aquatic ecosystems. His work will reveal the range of effects of groundwater withdrawal, land use, and climate change on the chemical and ecological status of groundwater and surface water, and allow us to make responsible decisions that balance the needs of human and ecosystem health.

"It is my hope that the research conducted at the University of Waterloo will revolutionize global strategies for managing water resources," said Dr. Van Cappellen. "The research will allow policymakers and stakeholders to make responsible decisions that balance society's water needs and those of our natural ecosystems."

"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 federal government is to be commended for providing an unprecedented level of support for 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs in a range of important disciplines," said David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo. "Our own two chairholders will work to improve society in two key ways — in one case, developing quantum devices to solve problems beyond our current abilities, and, in the other case, helping to establish guidelines to best balance the water needs of people and natural ecosystems."

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 (

Contact Information