The CFI makes financial contributions to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high quality research.
Canada’s researchers lead the world in contributing to competitiveness, prosperity and quality of life.
- Increase Canada’s capability 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 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.
Transformative: Investing in projects that have a profound and enduring impact on Canada’s research environment.
Transparent: Ensuring the integrity of our review processes as well as the fairness and independence of our funding decisions.
Client-focused: Providing effective, efficient and innovative services to our clientele.
Consultative: Maintaining an open dialogue with research institutions, our partners and other key stakeholders.
Innovative: Bringing fresh ideas to program design and business practices, and developing a work environment that fosters creativity.
Flexible: Adapting to changing environments and continually improving our policies, programs and services.
Accountable: Monitoring impacts and keeping stakeholders informed, while ensuring that funds are used responsibly.
We are committed to public accountability, placing great importance on evaluating the impact of our investments and delivering programs that focus on Canada’s needs.
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.
We operate in a highly transparent manner and have many forms of accountability:
- To ensure institutions that receive infrastructure support are providing the best possible results for the benefit of Canadians, the CFI requires that they develop and periodically update strategic research plans and priorities, and that they report on the progress of each project at least five years.
- We conduct monitoring visits at recipient institutions to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of policies, processes and controls that are in place for the management of funded projects. Using a risk-based audit approach, we also conduct audits to ensure that CFI funding has been used in accordance with terms and conditions in award agreements, and with applicable policies and guidelines. All CFI-funded projects exceeding $10 million are automatically subject to an audit.
- We periodically undertake various types of evaluations to support organizational learning, to inform operational and strategic decisions and to remain accountable for the use of public funds.
- We communicate the value and outcomes of its investments in the research community to Canadians through its website and other communications tools, such as its annual report (tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Industry, Science and Economic Development and widely distributed); and regular appearances and submissions to various standing committees.
What is research infrastructure?
The infrastructure funded by the CFI includes the state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories, databases, specimens, scientific collections, computer hardware and software, communications linkages and buildings necessary to conduct leading-edge research.
And what does it do for Canada?
State-of-the-art infrastructure allows researchers to push the boundaries of knowledge, explore the unknown and generate exciting outcomes that benefit humankind. It helps institutions attract, retain and train the top researchers from around the globe and fosters collaboration among the academic, private, public and non-profit sectors on a range of projects and across many disciplines. The solid platforms of research infrastructure being established in Canadian institutions are serving to support business innovation and private-sector research and development.
How does the CFI fund infrastructure?
We have established a rigorous, competitive and independent merit-review process that rewards excellence. The CFI relies on experts from across Canada and around the world to ensure that only the very best projects receive funding. CFI funding is awarded to institutions, and all proposals must support an institution’s strategic research plan.
Eligible Canadian institutions apply to the CFI through a suite of funds, and all applications must demonstrate:
- Quality of the research and its need for infrastructure;
- Contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation;
- Potential benefits of the research to Canada.
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.