Minister of State Holder announces Canada Research Chairs whose research will improve quality of life, increase jobs and opportunities for Canadians

Minister of State Holder highlights U of T’s Dr. Goldie Nejat whose social robot could revolutionize elder care around the world

October 16, 2014, Toronto, Ontario – Chairs Secretariat

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today visited the University of Toronto, where he announced 137 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 34 postsecondary institutions across the country. This $118 million investment, with an additional $7.9 million in infrastructure support provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, will help promote innovation and support top-tier talent at Canadian postsecondary institutions.

Dr. Goldie Nejat, Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society at the University of Toronto, joined Minister of State Holder for today’s announcement. Dr. Nejat’s world-leading research is enabling robots to interact with humans in areas where robots could be of great help, such as health, emergency response, security and elder care.

As a new chairholder, Goldie Nejat will advance collaborations between researchers across several disciplines, including robotics, health research and mechanical engineering, while training the next generation of researchers in Canada.

Quick facts

  • As a Canada Research Chair, Dr. Nejat will further her work in enabling robots to work directly with humans, by developing the perception, intelligence and control technologies needed for robots to perform complex and interactive behaviours. Her research will have impacts in the use of robots in the fields of medicine and health care; rescue and exploration; military and security applications; education; entertainment; and industry.
  • There are more than 1,700 Canada Research Chairs working in the natural sciences, engineering, health, social sciences and humanities, at more than 70 postsecondary institutions across the country, including 54 chairholders in Ontario.
  • As of July 21, 2014, the University of Toronto is home to 222 Canada Research Chairs and two Canada Excellence Research Chairs.
  • The Canada Research Chairs Program was created in 2000. Ongoing annual program expenditures of $265 million have helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.


“Our government is committed to science, technology and innovation to improve our quality of life and create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Our government’s Canada Research Chairs Program develops, attracts and retains top researcher talent in Canada whose research, in turn, creates long-term social and economic benefits while training the next generation of students and researchers in Canada.”

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Our government is making the investments necessary to attract and retain highly talented researchers who support the creation of new jobs and new opportunities. As a result of today’s announcement, the University of Toronto is now home to 222 Canada Research Chairs–promising minds like Dr. Goldie Nejat, whose research into new robotic technologies will help Toronto compete and win in the knowledge economy.”

- Mark Adler, Member of Parliament (York Centre)

“The Canada Research Chairs Program promotes research excellence across engineering, the natural sciences, the health sciences, the humanities and social sciences, building a base of research and research talent that strengthens Canada's international competitiveness.”

- Brent Herbert-Copley, Vice-President, Research Programs, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

“State-of-the-art facilities and labs drive researchers, such as Goldie Nejat, to be leaders in their field. With the right tools, Canada’s top minds can make breakthroughs that will transform our lives and stimulate the economy of the future.”

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

“As the Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society, I have the fantastic opportunity to work with a team of international researchers, industrial collaborators, healthcare professionals and trainees to develop innovative robotic technologies that will be of great assistance to people in their everyday lives.”

- Dr. Goldie Nejat, Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society, University of Toronto

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  • A full list of the chairholders is available here.

Additional links


Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Media Relations Adviser
Canada Research Chairs Program

Michael Bhardwaj
Media Relations Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation