Harper Government investing in research excellence at Canadian universities, creating jobs and economic growth

Canadian universities attract the brightest and best researchers with federal funding

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 13, 2012 | Researchers at universities across Canada will continue to make advances in disease prevention and treatment, informational technology, sustainable development, and business and management practices, among many other areas, thanks to a federal investment in the Canada Research Chairs Program. The funding announcement was made today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, while speaking at the University of Ottawa.

“Our Government is committed to investing in research programs that continue to have a positive effect on Canada’s economy and that touch the lives of Canadians,” said Minister Goodyear. “We are focused on what matters—creating jobs and economic growth. By supporting innovation, we are not only encouraging cutting-edge research but also help bring promising ideas to the marketplace to keep our economy strong in the future.”

In total, $124.5 million is being allocated among 132 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs to undertake new, cutting-edge research at 36 Canadian postsecondary institutions. This federal investment allows Canadian institutions to strengthen their position as global leaders in research and development, bringing greater economic opportunities for Canadians.

Today’s event at the University of Ottawa featured Dr. Julian Little, who is developing epidemiological methods to investigate the roles genes play in a number of diseases and to measure their response to therapy or preventative interventions. As Canada Research Chair in Human Genome Epidemiology, Dr. Little is helping to develop the techniques that will be needed to translate genetic discoveries into opportunities for preventive medicine and public health benefits.

“The Canada Research Chairs Program helps to position Canadian postsecondary institutions as world-class research centres,” said Dr. Chad Gaffield, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and chair of the Canada Research Chairs Program Steering Committee, who attended today’s announcement. “With this funding support, researchers are gaining insight about, and developing innovative solutions to, today’s social, health and economic issues, and are training the next generation of top scientists and scholars.”

The investment announced today also includes an additional $6.3 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards.

“Canada Research Chairs are working in areas of strategic importance to Canadian communities,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, president and CEO of the CFI. “And state-of-the-art research infrastructure ensures that this world-class talent will help Canada compete in a global knowledge economy.”

The 132 chairholders included in the announcement will conduct research in diverse fields, with potential benefits for policy-makers, businesses, practitioners and Canadians.

A full list of the chairholders is available here.

Details on the CFI’s funding for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards are available on the CFI website.

Media contacts:

Stephanie Kale
Media Relations Advisor
Canada Research Chairs Program
Tel.: 613-996-8373
Email: stephanie.kale@chairs-chaires.gc.ca

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Tel.: 613-960-7728
Email: stephanie.thomas@ic.gc.ca

Ryan Hill
Coordinator, Media Relations and Online Engagement
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Tel.: 613-943-5346
Cell.: 613-294-6247
Email: ryan.saxby-hill@innovation.ca

Karine Proulx
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Tel.: 613-562-5800, ext. 3149
Email: karine.proulx@uOttawa.ca