Supporting research that matters to Canadians

Research infrastructure funding to benefit universities and colleges from coast to coast

OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s researchers play a crucial role in advancing our society. Whether addressing the many facets of the global climate crisis, developing new generations of highly performing materials or innovating in the food sector, bright minds at Canadian universities, colleges, cégeps and polytechnics are driving innovation at home and on the world stage.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Parliamentary Secretary Andy Filmore announced close to $45 million in Government of Canada funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to ensure researchers have the labs and equipment they need to carry out world-class research and technology development.

The investments will support 150 projects at 43 institutions across the country:

  • More than $30 million to 136 research infrastructure projects at 31 universities through the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), will help institutions attract and retain the very best researchers.
  • More than $14 million to 14 projects at 12 colleges, cégeps and polytechnics through the CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF), will help colleges support innovation by providing state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to find innovative solutions that keep Canadian business competitive at the international level.

Projects supported through the two funding programs include:

  • Using ultrafast light to create alternative sources of energy
    Synthetic materials will play an increasingly important role in Canadian society as we seek alternatives to fossil fuels. Using a newly funded ultrafast laser, Julianne Gibbs at the University of Alberta will characterize these materials on a molecular level to optimize their performance to produce solar power, and to convert sunlight into a fuel like methanol using CO2 or other green carbon sources.
  • Training the next generation of hydrometeorologists in a quickly changing world
    West-central British Columbia is one of the wettest regions on the planet, routinely faced with heavy precipitation and icing. Yet summer droughts, intense thunderstorms and high winds ignite and sustain destructive wildfires. Stephen Dery at University of Northern British Columbia is creating the Monitoring Extreme Climate and Hydrometeorological Events (MECHE) observatory. It will be used to train the next generation of hydrometeorologists on state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to help address a warming climate that affects individuals, ecosystems, infrastructures and socioeconomic activity.
  • Innovating for the marine and food products industry
    To better meet the analytical needs of the marine products processing industry, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and its college centre for technology transfer (CCTT) is getting equipment for the characterisation of the chemical properties of marine and food products. With new cutting-edge tools, researcher Marie-Gil Fortin and her lab colleagues will be able to drive innovation to stimulate job creation and increase the bottom line for these companies.
  • Leading the charge to electric for the mining industry
    While the shift from diesel to electricity is already well underway, there is still a long way to go before the mining industry is in a position to fully transition to electric. By establishing the Battery Electric Vehicle Lab, Cambrian College and its Director, Applied Research & Innovation, Michael Commito, hope to encourage this industry to adopt battery electric vehicles and equipment. Ultimately, this project will allow companies to lower operating costs, improve worker health and safety and play a part in fighting climate change.


“Over the last seven years, our government has taken concrete action to restore the role of science and researchers, and we will continue to support this sector by adding action to attract and retain the best and brightest Canadian talent at institutions across the country. Today’s investments will ensure that researchers at our colleges and universities have the equipment and spaces they need to flourish and tackle our most pressing challenges, like climate change, health care and economic security. I’m eager to see where these researchers’ bold and visionary ideas will take us in the years to come.”

- The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Innovation is built on new ideas and discoveries that can be implemented not only to enable major scientific advances, but to improve the daily lives of every Canadian. Through the projects supported by the CFI today, and through increased collaboration between the academic and entrepreneurial sectors, society benefits from the tangible improvements that will contribute to makings Canada an even more prosperous nation.”

- Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Quick facts

  • Funding provided through JELF helps institutions attract and retain outstanding researchers. It also contributes to acquiring the tools that enable the innovative work of those researchers, and offers research infrastructure that, when combined with support from partner organizations, creates a highly competitive package for attracting talent.
  • The $30 million JELF investment includes $7,035,833 awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF), a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.
  • The CIIF supports research infrastructure projects that augment the existing applied research and technology development capacity of colleges, and allow them to respond to important industry needs.
  • The $14 million CIIF investment includes $3,322,219 awarded under the IOF.

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About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

For 25 years, the Canada Foundation for Innovation has been making financial contributions to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high-quality research. The CFI invests in infrastructure that researchers need to think big, innovate and push the boundaries of knowledge. It helps institutions to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.

A promising future, now
25 years of investing in ideas that change our world

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For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA, LinkedIn, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel to find videos about the CFI and its transformative research projects. Follow our 25th anniversary activities through #PromisingFutureNow.


Benoît Clément
Media Relations and Social Media Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation
C: 613-943-2580

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science, and Economic
Development Canada