Canada invests $1.5B in university research & innovation

December 4, 2014
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$1.5 billion Canada First Research Excellence Fund sets a new marker for federal research investment for universities across Canada

OTTAWA – Today’s launch of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) program will advance Canada as a global leader in research excellence and innovation, fuelling our nation’s top researchers to undertake new global research collaborations that will increase Canada’s competitiveness as businesses benefit from new discoveries.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the CFREF program today at Toronto’s IBM Canada Software Lab, accompanied by Minister of State for Science and Technology, Ed Holder.  Building on year-over-year investments to date, this unprecedented $1.5 billion investment over 10 years will stimulate Canadian universities to achieve global leadership in specific fields of strength by providing a research excellence destination of choice. The world’s best minds will forge ground-breaking discoveries that will fortify Canada’s global research standing and propel a vibrant economy.

“This bold new program will position Canada as a leader in international research. It will support Canada’s top research talent and build new global links,” says David Barnard, president of the University of Manitoba and chair of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). “University leaders welcome the tremendous potential of this initiative to engage Canada’s next generation of top young researchers in globally significant research programs and networks.”

AUCC worked in consultation with partners in government and universities across the country as this program was developed, and underscored the importance of an open and peer reviewed competition for CFREF. This initiative is structured to ensure that benefits will be shared by universities, faculty, students and communities across Canada.

“This program demonstrates the government’s understanding that a vibrant, innovative and competitive Canadian economy needs a world-class university research system,” says Paul Davidson, president of AUCC. “It will help our universities to collaborate with global research leaders and better translate knowledge and ideas into the national and international marketplace.”

AUCC also welcomes the release today of Canada’s renewed Science Technology and Innovation strategy, which reviewed Canada’s research and innovation strengths, and supplemented existing priorities with emerging fields including advanced manufacturing and agriculture.

Today’s funding announcement builds on Canada’s solid research position—continually cultivated and strengthened by global initiatives that include AUCC-led missions to India and Brazil, and AUCC-hosted innovation best practice collaborations, most recently bringing together global higher education leaders from Canada, Israel and Germany.


About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

Tagged:  Research and innovation

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