VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 19, 2014) - Industry Canada

Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson today highlighted an Economic Action Plan 2014 initiative aimed at strengthening science, technology and innovation in Canada. The new Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) will provide a substantial investment driving Canadian post-secondary institutions to excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada.

The Fund joins programs such as the Canada Excellence Research Chairs and the Canada Research Chairs in contributing significantly to the country's reputation as a global leader for research across all disciplines. It will enable Canada's institutions to seize emerging opportunities and generate talent and breakthrough discoveries on the international stage for the benefit of Canadians.

CFREF will be available to all post-secondary institutions on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis.

Quick Facts

  • Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide the Fund with $50 million in 2015-16, growing to $100 million in 2016-17 and $150 million in 2017-18, and reaching a sustained level of $200 million annually in 2018-19 and beyond.
  • CFREF will be administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in collaboration with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


  • "Our government knows that to be successful in the highly competitive global economy, we must continue to strengthen our approach to developing high-quality, talented people, performing world-leading research and generating breakthrough discoveries. Through the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund announced in Economic Action Plan 2014, we will build on our existing research strengths and continue to attract top talent to Canadian post-secondary institutions."

The Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)

  • "The Canada First Research Excellence Fund provides a tremendous opportunity for post-secondary institutions to compete on the world stage for the very best ideas and talent across all research disciplines in order to contribute to Canada's future prosperity. SSHRC is very pleased to oversee the development and launch of this prestigious fund for Canada."

Dr. Chad Gaffield - President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

  • "The dramatic investment in research excellence this budget contains is the first step to ensure Canadian universities can attract and develop top domestic and international talent. This will enable us to make new discoveries we will mobilize for the benefit of all Canadians, strengthen regional and national economies and increase our country's innovative capacity".

Amit Chakma - Chair of the U15 Research universities - President, Western University

  • "This is a pivotal moment for research excellence and innovation in Canada. The establishment of an ambitious new research excellence fund, coupled with the commitment of enhanced funding in discovery research through the federal granting councils, represent a catalytic investment."

David Barnard, Chair, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada - President, University of Manitoba

  • "It is noteworthy that the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund includes colleges and polytechnics whose applied research leads to economic outcomes for Canada. The Fund shows the government recognizes the complementary capacity in the entire spectrum of our public research facilities from basic to applied research."

Nobina Robinson, President, Polytechnics Canada

  • "Colleges and institutes are involved in international research projects in over 20 countries worldwide. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will provide an excellent opportunity to build on these partnerships."

Denise Amyot, President, Association of Canadian Community Colleges

Contact Information:

Scott French,
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State
(Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development
Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Ursula Gobel
Director, Communications
Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada