Major investments in research equipment a catalyst for innovation

More than $113 million in funding will support the efforts of hundreds of researchers across the country

OTTAWA, Aug. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s researchers dedicate their time and energy to better understand and address issues relevant to Canadians. Having the right research tools and facilities in place means researchers are ready to develop an intervention program to prevent childhood obesity or to explore how to lower carbon emissions by transforming agricultural waste into new products. Canada’s researchers need and deserve the best equipment and facilities to pursue ambitious ideas, to respond to environmental and health issues and to engage with research leaders from around the world.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced more than $113 million to support 396 research infrastructure projects at 56 universities across the country. This contribution, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), will help universities more competitively recruit and retain outstanding researchers by helping acquire the state-of-the-art labs, equipment and facilities they need to make discoveries that will have an impact on Canadians.

For example, projects being funded through the JELF will contribute to:

  • Cape Breton University (Sydney, Nova Scotia): Empowering Atlantic Canada’s blue economy
    Investments in Atlantic Canada’s ocean-based economy have helped address challenges that impede economic growth and social development across the region and especially on Cape Breton Island, such as water pollution from abandoned coal mines and food insecurity. To support this new economy, researchers at Cape Breton University will establish a lab to develop technologies such as small-scale water treatment devices that will increase access to clean drinking water, improve the health and well-being of remote and First Nations communities and enable equitable social development on Cape Breton Island.

  • Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia): Making STEM more accessible Members of the blind or low-vision (BLV) community are often excluded from studying and working in many Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, including electrical engineering and computer science. The skills key to studying and working in STEM rely on visual information that BLV people are lacking. Researchers at Simon Fraser University will create computing environment for BLV people to practice entry-level electronics and computing skills and make STEM fields more accessible and inclusive to people of all abilities.

  • Université de Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, Quebec): Establishing a sustainable renewable energy sector
    The decarbonization of the Quebec and Canadian energy sectors is leading to the development of innovative materials such as high-performance ceramics and high-entropy alloys (metals made up of three or more elements) in which to store renewable energies. A research program at the Université de Sherbrooke aims to develop and study these ceramics and alloys to help address the potential environmental impacts of their extraction, production, use and end-of-life. The results will not only improve Canada's renewable energy storage capacities but will contribute to their sustainable development.


“Congratulations to these talented recipients from all across the country who are doing the groundbreaking work that will contribute not only to Canada’s health and well-being but also to the world’s. Through this funding, the Government of Canada is investing in the next generation of researchers and inspiring them to continue to think outside the box and tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Every day, researchers dedicate their knowledge and skills to addressing issues that are important to Canadians, including improving the environment, healthcare and access to education. They contribute to a better future for all Canadians. At the Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are proud to support their efforts with well-designed labs and necessary equipment placed in the communities and environments where they will be the most effectively employed.”
Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Quick facts

  • These investments are part of a $960 million suite of funding programs supporting science, researchers, students and research infrastructure announced today by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health.
  • The total JELF investment made today by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation is $113,456,009.
  • This total includes $26,182,156 awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF), a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operation and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.
  • 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.

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About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

With a bold, future-looking mandate, the Canada Foundation for Innovation equips researchers to be global leaders in their field and to respond to emerging challenges. Our investments in state-of-the-art tools, instruments and facilities underpin both curiosity- and mission-driven research that cuts across disciplines and bridges all sectors. The research infrastructure we fund mobilizes knowledge, spurs innovation and commercialization, and empowers the talented minds of a new generation.


Media Relations
Canada Foundation for Innovation

Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada