Government of Canada Invests in Research Excellence Across the Country


Canadian universities retain and attract brightest minds with federal funding

TORONTO, Ontario, October 12, 2012 | Top researchers at post-secondary institutions across Canada will continue to spur innovation thanks to a federal investment in the Canada Research Chairs program. These world-class researchers bring new perspectives and solutions to the critical issues facing Canadians today, addressing challenges across Canadian universities’ fields of research in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. While speaking at the University of Toronto, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced funding of $121.6 million in support of top researchers.

“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “By investing in talented people through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, our government is supporting cutting-edge research in Canadian post-secondary institutions. This fosters innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, where they can touch the lives of Canadians.”

In total, $121.6 million is being invested to support 155 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs. These chairholders will undertake new, cutting-edge research at 42 Canadian post-secondary institutions. This Government of Canada investment allows Canadian post-secondary 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 Toronto featured Dr. Jason Moffat who is exploring the genetic origins of cancer, a disease that affects thousands of Canadians and their families each year. As a Canada Research Chair in the functional genomics of cancer, Dr. Moffat is finding ways to intervene in the genetic mutations that cause cancer. His research aims to identify cancer cell vulnerabilities, to reveal more about how cancer arises, to find new innovative treatment options and to help with diagnosis.

“The funding provided through the Canada Research Chairs program allows researchers to continue to develop innovative technologies and think on a global scale in order to accelerate scientific progress,” said Dr. Moffat. “In my case, this supports collaboration in identifying causes of diseases and finding cures.”

“In addition to providing funding to the exceptional researchers already working in Canadian universities, the Canada Research Chairs program brings some of the brightest scholars to the Canadian research landscape, transforming our institutions into world-class research centres,” said Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Chair of the Canada Research Chairs Steering Committee. “With this federal funding, chairholders will improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness and train the next generation of highly skilled people.”

The investment announced today also includes an additional $7.1 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 Canadians,” said Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “The infrastructure investments that we are making as part of these awards will leave a lasting legacy in the communities where these researchers work.”

The 155 chairholders will conduct research in diverse fields, with potential benefits for policy-makers, businesses, practitioners and Canadians.

List of recipients October 2012 (104 KB)

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

Michèle-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Tel.: 613-947-2956

Ryan Saxby 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

Elissa Strome
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation
University of Toronto
Tel.: 416-978-6475
Email: elissa.strome@utoronto.ca