Our mandate

Our mandate is to increase the capability of Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to carry out high quality research by investing in research infrastructure.

The CFI funds up to 40 percent of a project’s research infrastructure costs. This funding is then leveraged to attract the remaining investment from partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

As an arm’s length independent corporation, the CFI reports to a Board of Directors. We operate within the framework set out in our funding agreements with the Government of Canada.

 

Our objectives

  • Increase Canada’s capacity to carry out important world-class scientific research and technology development 
  • Support economic growth and job creation, as well as health and environmental quality through innovation 
  • Expand research and job opportunities for the next generation of Canadian researchers, technicians and entrepreneurs 
  • Promote productive networks and collaboration among Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, non-profit research institutions and the private sector


Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

The CFI is committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. In all our activities, we recognize that a breadth of perspectives, skills and experiences contributes to excellence in research.

Equity: We aim to ensure all CFI-eligible institutions have opportunity to access and benefit from our programs and CFI-funded infrastructure through our well established, fair and impartial practices.

Diversity: We value attributes that allow institutions and their researchers — from any background and from anywhere — to succeed. This includes individual attributes such as gender, language, culture and career stage; institutional attributes such as size, type and location; and attributes that encompass the full spectrum of research, from basic to applied and across all disciplines. 

Inclusion: We encourage a culture of collaboration, partnership, contributions and engagement among diverse groups of people, institutions and areas of research to maximize the potential of Canada’s research ecosystem.

We believe that nurturing an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture is the responsibility of every member of the research ecosystem, including funders, institutions, researchers, experts and reviewers.

What is research infrastructure?

The infrastructure funded by the CFI includes the state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories, equipment, computer hardware, software and databases necessary to conduct leading-edge research.
For most of us, the word “infrastructure” means roads, bridges, water mains, and all of the other structures that get us through our daily lives. So what exactly is research infrastructure? This is what we fund.

We are the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and we invest in the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that researchers across all disciplines need to think big and innovate. This can mean outfitting ultra-modern research spaces—think advanced imaging facilities, genome centres, and storage hubs for massive data sets. Or investing in specific pieces of equipment—think DNA sequencers, mass spectrometers, and high precision lasers. This all fits under the research infrastructure umbrella, and it all helps researchers push the boundaries of their work.

Over the years, the CFI has invested in some of Canada’s most acclaimed research infrastructure. From the SNOLAB in Sudbury, where a Canadian researcher won a Nobel Prize for his work in particle physics and cosmology, to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, whose multiversity galleries and lab spaces facilitate the study of First Nations artefacts.

Researchers are boarding the Amundsen, a one-of-a-kind research icebreaker dedicated to studying climate change.

At the Canadian Light Source synchrotron in Saskatoon, light is being used to observe matter down to the atomic level.

And the Ocean Tracking Network is connecting researchers from around the world to help conserve and sustain the world’s oceans.

Investing in research infrastructure in Canada’s universities, colleges, and research hospitals, allows our brightest minds to contribute to better health outcomes, a cleaner, greener environment, evidence-based decision-making, and the competitiveness of Canadian business. It allows us to improve the health, quality of life, and prosperity of the people in our communities. After all, at the CFI, we believe research builds communities.