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

  • Support economic growth and job creation, as well as health and environmental quality through innovation
  • Increase Canada’s capability to carry out important world-class scientific research and technology development
  • Expand research and job opportunities by providing support through research infrastructure for the development of highly qualified personnel
  • Promote productive networks and collaboration among Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, non-profit research institutions and the private sector

Our values

For our part, we strive to be:




How we live it externally

We remain transparent and accountable by monitoring and communicating the outcomes of our activities and investments.We are client-focused, providing effective, efficient services and actively consulting with our stakeholders.We believe in a bright future for Canada’s research community. Our investments allow researchers to think big and have a profound, transformative impact on society.

How we live it internally

We are objective, ensuring the integrity and independence of our processes and decisions.We foster teamwork, valuing and considering the opinions and trusting the skills and knowledge of our colleagues.We bring fresh ideas into a work environment that fosters excellence and creative thinking.

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 that all CFI-eligible institutions have the 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. These include 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 and partnership which includes contributions from 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.

Our commitment to sustainability

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges, with the aim of achieving a more equitable and sustainable future for all. The CFI actively supports the attainment of the SDGs by leveraging its role as a research enabler. This commitment is anchored within our 2023–28 strategic plan. Over the next five years, we will encourage research institutions to find ways to integrate the SDGs into the projects we fund. And as an organization with an impact of its own to consider, we will also strive to make our operations and activities more sustainable. 

Land Acknowledgement

The Canada Foundation for Innovation respectfully acknowledges that its office is located on the traditional, unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin People. And as we support research across the country, we recognize the relationship the First Nations, Inuit and Métis have with the land. We commit to ensuring that our work supports reconciliation with all Indigenous Peoples.

To find out more about our commitments to Indigenous Peoples in Canada, read Aiming high: Strategic plan 2023-28.

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.