QUEBEC CITY, QC--(Marketwired - January 09, 2017) - Canada's researchers rely on state-of-the-art labs and facilities where they can work and make discoveries that help support a strong economy, healthy society and growing middle class. Whether their work involves tracking the movements of commercially important and endangered marine species or discovering better ways to diagnose diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's, scientists rely on world-leading research facilities to improve our health, environment, climate and communities.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced an investment of $328.5 million to ensure the optimal performance of 17 national research facilities led by 12 universities across the country.

This funding, made through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund, includes more than $18 million for Université Laval -- where today's announcement was made -- so researchers can continue to operate Canada's only dedicated research icebreaker, the CCGS Amundsen. The icebreaker is an important destination for Canadian and international researchers where they carry out their work in the challenging environment of the Arctic Ocean. Their efforts help keep Canada at the forefront of Arctic science by ensuring the ongoing monitoring of this pristine and fragile environment.

The MSI Fund ensures that Canada's large, complex research facilities that serve the research community have the support needed to operate and stay on the cutting edge. These facilities -- whether physical spaces or virtual networks -- serve a critical mass of researchers tackling some of the most important issues facing society. These bright minds need the best equipment and spaces to continue to study such things as the evolution and fate of our sun, space weather and its effects on our telecommunications and health care improvements for all Canadians.


"Our government's investment in these remarkable, world-class facilities demonstrates the value we place in the role that science plays in building a vibrant, healthy society. Today's announcement also supports our hard-working scientists so they may continue collaborating in these large-scale laboratories and facilities to further our knowledge and understanding of the world. Through investments like this, our government is supporting leading-edge research essential to creating jobs, improving healthcare and growing the middle class."

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"Canada's large-scale, world-leading research facilities, such as the Amundsen and the Canadian Light Source, not only bring together some of our country's best researchers but they also serve as hubs for international scientific collaborations. As science becomes more complex, major science initiatives are crucial to make sure bright minds from Canada and abroad are able to explore the frontier of science and find answers to some of the most pressing issues of our time."

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

"The CCGS Amundsen has jump started the study of the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems in Canada. But the role of the Amundsen in rebuilding Canada's northern research goes far beyond the study of the Arctic Ocean. Transformed into a floating clinic, the ship is the fulcrum of the Inuit Health Surveys, and international workshops on the geopolitics of the Arctic are hosted on board the vessel in the Arctic. The Amundsen was central to the assessment of the risks and challenges of drilling for oil in the Beaufort Sea and it has enabled the Network of Centres of Excellence ArcticNet, where researchers and end users from all sectors collaborate to inform policy and decision-making in the North. The Amundsen is truly building Canada's northern research community."

- Louis Fortier, Science Director, ArcticNet, Université Laval

Quick facts:

  • The CFI is contributing $328.5 million through the Major Science Initiative Fund to 17 projects at 12 institutions across Canada.
  • In 2010, the CFI was mandated by the Government of Canada to evaluate and address the operating and maintenance funding needs and the scientific performance of national research facilities. The purpose would be to ensure that these facilities have solid management and governance policies and practices in place. In response, we created the Major Science Initiatives Fund.
  • A national research facility, whether single-sited, distributed or virtual addresses the needs of a community of Canadian researchers representing a critical mass of users distributed across the country. A national research facility needs resource commitments well beyond the capacity of any one institution.

Quick links:

The CFI's Research Facilities Navigator

Related products:

A full list of the funded projects and many stories about the facilities are available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the CFI and its many transformative research projects.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For 20 years, the CFI has been providing researchers with access to the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. In celebration of two decades of funding research excellence across the country, the CFI is highlighting projects that show how CFI-funded research helps build communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada's universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps 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.

Contact Information:


Malorie Bertrand
Media Relations and Communications Officer
Canada Foundation for Innovation
613.943.2580 (office)
613.447.1723 (mobile)

Stefanie Power
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada