EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(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 University of Alberta by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

"Our government is proud to help universities here in Alberta attract and retain world-leading research talent, which is why we are proud to invest in facilities like those here at the University of Alberta," said Minister Ambrose. "Through new discoveries, our country's top researchers are helping to improve the quality of life of Canadians and create new jobs."

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 Alberta, the Government of Canada is investing in 35 new research projects, worth over $9.7 million.

"The support received from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation will allow the University of Alberta to continue its work building a legacy of excellence in cutting-edge research worldwide," said Carl Amrhein, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta. "It will also provide the university and the researchers with the opportunity to attract some of the top academic minds at the graduate and post-doctoral levels."

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:

  • Over $7 million for 23 projects at the University of Alberta
  • Close to $350,000 for 1 project at Athabasca University
  • Over $1.9 million for 8 projects at the University of Calgary
  • Over $270,000 for 2 projects at the University of Lethbridge

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