Government of Canada invests in research excellence

Canadian universities attract and retain brightest minds

LONDON, Ontario, March 15, 2013 | Some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds working in diverse scientific disciplines will receive significant support from the federal government, through the Canada Research Chairs program, to pursue world-class research at postsecondary institutions across Canada. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement today while speaking at Western University in London, Ontario.

“Our government is committed to attracting and retaining the world’s best and brightest researchers, supporting innovation, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy,” said Goodyear. “By investing in programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, we are fostering cutting-edge research and the generation of new innovations for the marketplace, which will benefit Canadians.”

The Canada Research Chairs program has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice in research and development. In total, the Government of Canada will provide $90.6 million in support to 120 newly awarded and renewed Canada Research Chairs. The research, which will be conducted at 39 Canadian institutions, has potential benefits for Canadians and their families, businesses, practitioners and policy-makers. Of this total, 19 researchers have been recruited from abroad, including 10 Canadians returning to work in their home country—demonstrating the success of the program in attracting and supporting research excellence in Canada.

The Canada Research Chairs program invests approximately $300 million per year toward research in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Today’s event at Western University featured Dr. Tima Bansal, Canada Research Chair in Business Sustainability. Western University will receive $1.4 million over seven years to support the work of Bansal, a new Tier 1 chairholder. With the goal of strengthening the link between research and practice, Bansal will bring together academics and businesses from all sectors of the economy to identify and develop sustainable business practices, helping firms manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities.

“As a Canada Research Chair, I will be even better positioned to help companies rise to the forefront of competitive leadership,” said Bansal. “There is a perception that there’s a trade-off between competitiveness and environmental and social responsibility. In fact, they are completely consistent, especially over the long run. Canada’s long-term prosperity depends on firms making development sustainable.”

“The Canada Research Chairs program continues to support and attract many of the world’s top researchers to Canadian postsecondary institutions,” said Chad Gaffield, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and  chair of the Canada Research Chairs Steering Committee. “With the support of federal research investments announced today, chairholders will enhance our understanding of critical issues in ways that will improve our quality of life and strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness.”

The investment announced today also includes an additional $4.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards.

“World-class research requires world-class research infrastructure,” said Gilles G. Patry, president and CEO of CFI. “With the right tools, Canada Research Chairs can push the boundaries of their work and make the kind of advances and innovations that benefit people in all corners of Canada.”

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovative firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for postsecondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in postsecondary education research and to create the knowledge and highly skilled workforce that are required for a prosperous economy.

As outlined by the Prime Minister, the federal government remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, pride in being a citizen of this country and personal financial security.

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

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

Ryan Hill
Coordinator, Media Relations and Online Engagement
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Tel.: 613-943-5346
Cell: 613-294-6247

Douglas Keddy
Research Communications Manager
Western University
Tel.: 519-661-2111, ext. 87485