$131.8 million to boost innovation capacity at Canadian universities and research institutions

March 21, 1999

Ottawa, March 31, 1999... Dr. David W. Strangway, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced today an investment of $131.8 million to support 78 infrastructure projects in 33 Canadian universities and research institutions.

"This major investment in research infrastructure across Canada is an investment in people. It recognizes the immense potential of our research community to make life better for Canadians. In supporting the development of world-class expertise in universities and research institutions, we are putting in place the right conditions to attract and retain top-quality researchers in Canada, and to train young Canadians for the knowledge-based economy," said Dr. Strangway. "The $131.8 million approved by the CFI will trigger additional investments of up to $198 million from the other funding partners, for a total of some $330 million."

The projects selected were reviewed by a multidisciplinary assessment committee on the basis of their contribution to the enhancement of Canadian innovation. They were approved by the CFI Board of Directors at its meeting of March 29 and 30 in Vancouver.

As a result, under the Institutional Innovation Fund (over $350,000), 23 institutions will receive funding for 59 projects-for a total of $124.4 million. The projects represent a broad range of fields and disciplines, including a $56.4 million contribution for the establishment of the Canadian Light Source project-a national facility at the University of Saskatchewan.

Under the Research Development Fund, the CFI approved an investment of $6.7 million for 14 projects in nine universities. These contributions are designed to help strengthen the research environment at institutions that receive less than 1 percent of the annual total in sponsored research at Canadian universities.

Under the New Opportunities Fund, the CFI approved an investment of almost $700,000 for five projects in three universities. These contributions provide infrastructure support to new academic personnel and help Canadian universities attract new faculty in priority areas of development. Since its launch in August 1998, the New Opportunities Fund has enabled Canadian universities to recruit 222 leading researchers.

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the federal government in 1997 to address an urgent need of Canada's research community: new, state-of-the-art research infrastructure. The CFI has been entrusted with a capital investment budget of $1 billion, and its investments are made in partnership with all levels of government, as well as with the private and voluntary sectors. Its work focuses on health, the environment, science, and engineering.

Examples of projects approved by the CFI Board of Directors include: 

  • the establishment of the Centre for Growth and Development at the B.C. Research Institute for Children's and Women's Health;
  • a unique database at the University of Alberta to be accessible via the World Wide Web that will place Canada at the forefront of humanities software development, and will help many Canadians continue their education via distance learning;
  • an ecosystem facility at the University of Manitoba to conduct pioneering work in solving problems associated with grain storage, and to increase the efficiency of grain handling and transportation;
  • pressure chambers to study the conditions for plant growth in extraterrestrial habitat at the University of Guelph;
  • new equipment at the Mount Megantic Observatory that will enable researchers to obtain high-resolution images comparable to those from outer space telescopes; and
  • a marine aquaculture research and development facility at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

list of approved projects and story leads are available on the CFI Web site.


Institutional Innovation Fund

Institution Contributions
Concordia University 1
Dalhousie University 1
École Polytechnique 3
McGill University 3
McMaster University 1
Memorial University 1
Queen's University 2
Université de Montréal 5
Université du Québec à Montréal 1
Université Laval 5
University of British Columbia 2
University of Western Ontario 4
University of Alberta 3
University of Calgary 2
University of Guelph 4
University of Manitoba 3
University of Ottawa 1
University of Saskatchewan 2
University of Toronto 4
University of Toronto - The Hospital for Sick Children 1
University of Waterloo 6
University of Western Ontario - London Cancer Centre 1
York University 3

Research Development Fund

Institution Contributions
Laurentian University 1
Nova Scotia Agricultural College 2
University of Northern British Columbia 1
University of Prince Edward Island 1
University of Regina 2
University of Winnipeg 1
Université de Moncton 2
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 3
Wilfrid Laurier University 1

New Opportunities

Institution Contributions
Institut national de Recherche scientifique 1
University of Toronto 3
Université Laval 1

List of approved projects by institution

Institutional Innovation Fund (over $350,000)

Concordia University

  • Biotechnology and bioinformatics facility

Dalhousie University

  • Centre for advanced research and development in global information networking

École Polytechnique de Montréal

  • Infrastructure robotique pour l'émulation d'opérations en milieux naturels hostiles
  • Céramiques industrielles et réfractaires
  • Laboratoire d'innovation et d'analyse de la bioperformance de dispositifs médicaux

McGill University

  • Montreal Genome Centre
  • ECONET: network of long term ecological research sites
  • Computer network infrastructure

McMaster University

  • Infrastructure for research on special populations

Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • Marine aquaculture research and development facility

Queen's University

  • Infrastructure for integrated innovations in repair, reconstruction and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal diseases
  • New initiative for research on photonic and electronic materials

Université de Montréal

  • Redressement de l'infrastructure de l'Observatoire du Mont Mégantic
  • Animaleries
  • Cardio 2000+
  • Veterinary and Food Biotechnology Institute-Bovine Embryo-Genome Facility
  • IRAM - Institut de recherche sur les applications multimédias

Université Laval

  • Formation et mécanismes d'action des hormones stéroïdiennes
  • Infrastructure de télécommunication de recherche: réseau recherche et réseau recherche +
  • Laboratoire virtuel de recherche en logistique d'entreprise
  • Création d'une unité de séquençage et de génotypage à haut débit, axe de recherche en génétique moléculaire des maladies héréditaires de l'adulte
  • Laboratoire de test et mesure en photonique

University of Alberta

  • Confocal/multiphoton imaging facility
  • Infrastructure for electronic publishing and analysis of humanities source material
  • Modern infrastructure for advanced capabilities in molecular biology and biotechnology

University of British Columbia

  • UBC Laboratory of molecular biophysics
  • Establishment of a core Centre for Growth and Development

University of Calgary

  • Electron beam facility for high resolution imaging and microanalysis
  • Enhanced Bio-NMR Centre Facilities, high field solid state NMR

University of Guelph

  • Biological systems for terrestrial and space applications
  • Genes to proteins: advanced macromolecular analysis
  • Centre for Animal Technology and Health: genome manipulation laboratory
  • Agricultural Plant Biotechnology Centre

University of Manitoba

  • Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology Centres for Cancer and Functional Genomics Research
  • Stored-grain ecosystem facility for research and design
  • Data infrastructure for improving health and human capital

University of Ottawa

  • LRI (1) Creation of a Protein Chemistry Centre (2) Basic studies on new proprotein convertases (PCs) and their clinical relevance (atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's, AIDS, obesity, and diabetes)

University of Saskatchewan

  • The Canadian Light Source Project
  • The Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre

University of Toronto - The Hospital for Sick Children

  • Establishment of the Centre for Applied Genomics

University of Toronto

  • 800 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
  • Center for Advanced Coating Technologies
  • Functional genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics
  • Bio-imaging facilities

University of Waterloo

  • Improvements to University of Waterloo network and cabling infrastructure in support of research
  • Synthetic and biosynthetic materials research facility
  • Materials technology and analysis facility - High resolution Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA)/Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) Microprobe
  • Bell Emergis University Labs at the University of Waterloo
  • Instrumentation for the application of high-throughput molecular biology and biotechnology to environmental problems
  • Infrastructure support for research activities of the Institute of Vision Science and Technology (IVST)

University of Western Ontario - London Cancer Centre

  • Control of Genes Involved in Cancer

University of Western Ontario

  • National Centre for Audiology
  • Molecular structure and dynamics by high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Advanced Biotechnology Research Centre
  • Biomedical engineering

Université du Québec à Montréal

  • Modernisation des infrastructures pour le réseau informatique de l'UQAM

York University

  • Active sensory processing in real and synthetic environments
  • Core facility in genomics, proteomics and combinatorial
  • CRESS Space instrumentation laboratory


List of approved projects by institution

Research Development Fund

Laurentian University

  • CIMTec - A Centre for Integrated Monitoring Technology

Nova Scotia Agricultural College

  • Integrated systems approach to improving wild blueberry physiology, protection and production
  • NSAC Cropping Systems Research Centre

University of Northern British Columbia

  • Development of the Enhanced Forestry Laboratory at the University of Northern British Columbia

University of Prince Edward Island

  • Centre for Structure Determination

University of Regina

  • Institute for Informatics Research
  • Sustainable heavy oil research facility (SHORF)

University of Winnipeg

  • Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (C-FIR)

Université de Moncton

  • Développement d'un laboratoire de géomatique environnementale
  • Optique non-linéaire et matériaux photoniques pour des applications industrielles

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

  • Deuxième phase de développement de l'Institut de recherche sur l'hydrogène (IRH)
  • Construction d'un banc d'essais universel destiné à optimiser la conception de réservoirs d'hydrogène basés sur l'utilisation des hydrures métalliques nanocristallins
  • Infrastructure pour étude et développement de systèmes de mesure

Wilfrid Laurier University

  • Infrastructure for research in user-centric intelligent systems and their applications


List of approved projects by institution

New Opportunities

Institut national de recherche scientifique

  • Les métaux dans l'environnement: initiative de recherche intégrée pour la protection des écosystèmes aquatiques

University of Toronto

  • An analytical facility for the study of mercury and methylmercury in pristine and impacted environments
  • Pathophysiologic mechanisms of movement disorders
  • Dynamic explorations of new materials, structures, and devices for enabling future photonic communication and computing

Université Laval

  • Développement et application de méthodes non invasives pour l'étude des valvulopathies