QUÉBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2011) - Canada will strengthen its position as a leading destination for the world's top research talent, thanks to a new investment that will provide universities across the country with new facilities and equipment. The announcement was made by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), while touring a lab at the University of Guelph. He was joined by Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The announcement was also highlighted at the Université Laval by the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La Francophonie and Regional Minister Responsible for the Québec City Area.

"Supporting science and technology is key to Canada's future economic growth," said Minister Verner. "Our government's commitment to helping post-secondary institutions like the University of Laval will help to attract and to retain world-leading research talent, which will create employment in our region, and will lead to discoveries that improve the quality of life of Canadians."

This $61-million investment, through the CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund, will support the work of 339 leading researchers and 245 projects at 48 Canadian research institutions. In the Province of Quebec, the Government of Canada is investing in 61 new research projects, worth $11 million.

"The CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund helps researchers purchase and replace equipment and infrastructure that they need to develop their innovative projects," said Denis Brière, Rector at the Université Laval. "It brings together public- and private-sector partners with researchers who are leaders in their field, and it strengthens the ties that pave the way for innovation."
Investments such as these provide researchers across Canada with the tools necessary to carry out a range of frontier research.

"Access to modern, cutting-edge equipment and facilities is imperative in the 21st century," said Dr. Patry. "For more than a decade, the CFI has provided thousands of world-class researchers with the tools they need to do their work. Without the right infrastructure, they quite simply wouldn't be in Canada."

Some examples of the latest round of funding through the Leaders Opportunity Fund include:

  • Aiding in the design of innovative molecular targeted therapies for the treatment of breast cancer. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont.

  • Improving our knowledge of the development and functions of the brain and spinal cord. Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.

  • Identifying new approaches that improve energy production, storage and sustainability. University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Man.

  • Monitoring ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic to gather climate-related data for improved environmental protection, navigation security and fisheries management. Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Que.

  • Developing new tools for mobile learning to allow for access to distance learning opportunities for formal education. Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alta.

The Leaders Opportunity Fund supports Canada's quickly evolving research environment by giving Canadian universities the flexibility they need to attract and retain the world's finest researchers at a time of intense international competition.

The CFI's Board of Directors approved a total investment of $61,264,196 following a rigorous and independent merit-review process. This amount included $47,126,305 awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund, and another $14,137,891 awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program designed to contribute to the incremental operating and maintenance costs of infrastructure projects funded by the Foundation.

For a complete list of CFI-funded projects, visit www.innovation.ca.

For Canadian research success stories, visit the CFI's online magazine, www.innovationcanada.ca.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed $5.3 billion in support of more than 6,800 projects at 131 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

Contact Information: Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Industry Canada
Media Relations