14 Directors Appointed To The Canada Foundation For Innovation

November 18, 1997

OTTAWA, November 18, 1997- The Honourable John Manley, Minister of Industry, and Dr. John Evans, Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), today announced the appointment of 14 prominent Canadians to the CFI’s Board of Directors. These appointments, which are effective immediately, will allow the Foundation to launch national programs aimed at strengthening Canada’s research capability by investing in infrastructure projects in research institutions.

The appointed directors are:
(click on names for biographies)

Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk Dr. Michel Gervais Dr. Gerri Sinclair
Dr. Thomas A. Brzustowski Mr. Jean-Yves Leblanc Dr. Michael Smith
Ms. Dian Cohen Dr. Robert Phillips Ms. Stella Thompson
Dr. Bernard Coupal Dr. David Pink Dr. Mary Anne White
Dr. Monique Frize Mr. Gedas A. Sakus

This announcement is the last step of a process to appoint the CFI's members and directors. The process was initiated in the summer of 1997 and conducted jointly by the Foundation and the Government of Canada.

"Investing in innovation and knowledge is a top priority for the federal government," said Mr. Manley. "By applying the highest standards of judgement and specialized expertise to the selection and funding of projects, the Foundation will help ensure that Canada improves and expands the knowledge base that research institutions and businesses need to succeed."

Drawn primarily from the research and business communities throughout Canada, the directors’ first priority will be to approve the policies and programs needed to hold the Foundation’s first competition for funding in 1998.

"These individuals will play a critical role for the future of Canadian research and innovation," said Dr. Evans. "The CFI’s strategic investment will go beyond upgrading Canada’s research infrastructure. It will help position our country at the forefront of world innovation by allowing our researchers to seize promising opportunities which will have a profound impact on the well-being and the quality of life of Canadians."

The 1997 Federal Budget proposed the creation of the CFI to fund research infrastructure in the areas of health, environment, science, and engineering. The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established in May 1997 with a contribution of $800 million from the Government of Canada. The Foundation’s mandate is to invest in infrastructure for research and development in Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals, and other not-for-profit research institutions. The Foundation’s investments will be made in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors as well as with all levels of government. Through these partnerships, the CFI has the potential to trigger about $2 billion in investment in research infrastructure.


Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk

Dr. Babiuk is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan, and Director of the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) in Saskatoon. He is the recipient of numerous professional and academic awards for his research accomplishments, including the 1993 Xerox Canada-Forum Award in recognition of his active involvement in transferring technology from the research laboratory to industry. Dr. Babiuk received his B.S.A., M.Sc. and D.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Thomas A. Brzustowski

Dr. Brzustowski has been President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) since 1995. Prior to joining government service, he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and held a number of administrative positions at the University of Waterloo from 1962 to 1987, including 13 years as Vice-President Academic. In 1987, Dr. Brzustowski left the university to join the Government of Ontario, where he was a Deputy Minister before being appointed to NSERC. Dr. Brzustowski received his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University.

Ms. Dian Cohen

Ms. Cohen is a distinguished broadcaster and author. Former national business editor at CTV Television and President of DC Productions Limited, Ms. Cohen is the author or co-author of five books, and has numerous radio, television, video, and print productions to her credit. She is a director of, or advisor to, several Canadian and international corporations. Ms. Cohen is frequently a featured speaker at events for business, government, and NGOs on the global economy and its implications for them. She is a recipient of the Order of Canada and a number of awards for the excellence of her work in economics and business.

Dr. Bernard Coupal

Dr. Coupal is President of Gestion T2C2/BIO Inc. and of Gestion T2C2/INFO Inc. (Transfert Technologies Commercialisation Capital) whose mandates are to analyse, assess, and market technologies developed in Quebec universities, private and government research centres, and industry. He was previously President and General Manager of Société Innovitech du Grand Montréal, a company established by the Quebec Government with an investment of $300 million. He previously took part in the creation of BioCapital, a risk capital company in the biotechnology sector. Prior to this, he held several senior management positions including Director General of the National Research Council’s Biotechnology Research Institute. Dr. Coupal has received many awards including the Université de Sherbrooke Board of Governors’ Medal, and the Armand-Frappier Biotechnology Award. He was also appointed Bâtisseur by the Revue Commerce in 1995. He holds a B.App.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in Applied Sciences in Chemical Engineering both from the Université de Montréal, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.

Dr. Monique Frize

Dr. Frize is the holder of the NSERC/Nortel Joint Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in Ontario, and is a professor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University. She also holds a teaching position at the School of Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Ottawa. Prior to this, she was the holder of the Nortel/NSERC Women in Engineering Chair at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Dr. Frize has served on many prominent boards including the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology. She received her B.App.Sc. (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Ottawa, an M.Phil. (Engineering in Medicine) from Imperial College in England, an M.B.A. from the Université de Moncton, and her Ph.D. from Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Dr. Michel Gervais

The Rector of Université Laval from 1987 to 1997, Dr. Gervais has had a distinguished academic career at Laval where he also held the positions of Vice Rector Academic and Research, and Professor at the Faculty of Theology. He has served on numerous boards including as Chairman of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and President of the Groupe d’action pour l’avancement technologique et industriel de la région de Québec. A Member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Gervais is also an Officer of l’Ordre national du Mérite (France). Dr. Gervais received his B.A. from the College de Lévis, his degrees of B.Th., L.Th., and L.Ph. from Université Laval, and his D.Th. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Jean-Yves Leblanc

Mr. Leblanc is President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Transportation. He began his tenure at Bombardier in 1986 when he joined the company as President of the Mass Transit Division. From 1981 to 1985, he served as Executive Vice-President and CEO of Marine Industrie Ltée. Prior to this, he served as Vice-President and President of Sométal Atlantic Ltée. A member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Mr. Leblanc also served as a member of the Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) of the Canadian Government for the transportation sector. Mr. Leblanc holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Université Laval, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario, and a master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Robert A. Phillips

Dr. Phillips is Executive Director of the National Cancer Institute of Canada. The organization is responsible for establishing cancer research policy and for distributing the funds raised by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Terry Fox Foundation. He also holds a teaching position in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. In addition to serving on numerous university and hospital committees, Dr. Phillips has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society. He received his B.A. in Chemistry and Zoology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. David Pink

Dr. Pink is a Professor of Physics at St. Francis Xavier University. He carries out research in Condensed Matter Physics, in the field of modeling biological and model membranes. His current work, in collaboration with colleagues on various continents, involves modeling the membrane-water interface in the presence of proteins and other molecules for which he has a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Research and other grants. Dr. Pink worked with NSERC for a decade: he was a member of the NSERC Council for six years, was Group Chair for Physics for three, and has served on a variety of NSERC Committees, as well as on the Advisory Board on TRIUMF.

Mr. Gedas A. Sakus

Mr. Sakus is currently President, Technology, at Nortel. Prior to assuming this position, he was President of Northern Telecom’s Public Carrier Networks organization. Since joining Northern Telecom in 1962, Mr. Sakus has held a wide range of senior management positions, including President of the company’s research and development subsidiary. He also served as President of Northern Telecom of Canada. Mr. Sakus serves on many prominent boards and in July 1996 was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Board on Science and Technology. He holds a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa and the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Gerri Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair is the Director of the Exemplary Center for Interactive Technologies in Education (ExCITE), one of the first multimedia research and development laboratories in Canada, at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Dr. Sinclair is also the President and CEO of NCompass Labs Inc., a high-tech start-up company that grew out of ExCITE. Dr. Sinclair is a past member of the National Advisory Council on the Information Highway, and a board member of the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research Industry and Education (CANARIE Inc.). Dr. Sinclair has both a B.A. (Honours) and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Michael Smith

Dr. Smith is the Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology at the University of British Columbia. He has recently been appointed Director of the new Genome Sequencing Centre in Vancouver. Since joining the University in 1970, he has held many senior positions including Director of the Biotechnology Laboratory, and Scientific Director of the Protein Engineering Networks of Centres of Excellence. Dr. Smith is one of Canada’s most sought-after lecturers and the holder of many scientific awards, including the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the Principal Award of The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, and the Killam Research Prize (UBC). Dr. Smith holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry, both from the University of Manchester, England.

Ms. Stella Thompson

Ms. Thompson is currently a principal of Governance West Inc., a Calgary-based firm established to assist boards of directors and executives improve their organizations’ governance practices. Prior to forming Governance West Inc., she served as President of Stellar Energy Ltd. She also held several senior management positions with major oil companies in Australia and Canada, including Vice-President of Petro-Canada’s Products Division. She serves on several prominent boards and is a past member of the Prime Minister’s National Advisory Board on Science and Technology. Ms. Thompson has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Calgary, and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Alberta.

Dr. Mary Anne White

Dr. White is currently Killam Research Professor in Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry at Dalhousie University, with a cross-appointment to Physics. Her research interests relate to the understanding of thermal properties of solids. In addition to her activities in the advancement of knowledge, she has significant interest in enhancing the public awareness of science. She has been the recipient of a number of professional and academic awards, including the Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching (Dalhousie University). Dr. White received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario, and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from McMaster University.

Canadian Foundation For Innovation

Dr. John R. Evans Chair, Canada Foundation for Innovation
Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk Director, Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO)
Dr. Thomas A. Brzustowski President, Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council
Ms. Dian Cohen President, DC Productions Limited
Dr. Bernard Coupal President, Gestion T2C2/BIO Inc. and T2C2/INFO Inc.(Transfert Technologies Commercialisation Capital)
Dr. Monique Frize Professor, NSERC/Nortel Joint Chair
for Women in Science and Engineering in Ontario, Carleton University
Dr. Michel Gervais Consultant; former Rector,
Université Laval
Mr. Jean Yves Leblanc President and Chief Operating Officer,
Bombardier Transportation
Dr. Robert A. Phillips Executive Director,
National Cancer Institute of Canada
Dr. David Pink Professor, Physics Department,
St. Francis Xavier University
Dr. Gerri Sinclair Director, Exemplary Center for Interactive
Technologies in Education (ExCITE)
Mr. Gedas A. Sakus President, Technology, Nortel
Dr. Michael Smith Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology,
University of British Columbia
Ms. Stella Thompson Principal, Governance West Inc.
Dr. Mary Anne White Professor of Chemistry,
Dalhousie University
Dr. Angus A. Bruneau Chairman of the Board, Fortis Inc.;
Chairman Air Nova
Dr. Gilles Cloutier Consultant; former Rector,
Université de Montréal
Dr. Jim Friesen Professor, Banting and Best Chair,
Department of Medical Research,
University of Toronto
Mr. Robert J. Giroux President, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
Dr. Art Hanson President, International Institute
for Sustainable Development
Ms. Dorothy Lamont Chief Executive Officer,
Canadian Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute of Canada
Dr. Monique Lefebvre President, Quebecor Multimedia
Dr. Julia Levy President & Chief Executive Officer,
Chief Scientific Officer,
QLT PhotoTherapeutics Inc.
Mrs. Judith Maxwell President, Canadian Policy Research Network
Mrs. Edythe A. Parkinson-Marcoux Former President,
CS Resources Limited
Dr. Peter J. Nicholson Executive Vice-President,
Corporate Strategy, BCE Inc.
Mr. Guy Saint-Pierre Chairman of the Board,
SNC-Lavalin Group Incorporated
Dr. Martha Piper President and Vice-Chancellor,
University of British Columbia
Dr. Matt Spence President, Alberta Heritage Foundation
for Medical Research
Dr. Ron Steer Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. J Keith Brimacombe President and CEO
Dr. Denis Gagnon Senior Vice President
Dr. George E. Connell Senior Policy Advisor
Ms. Manon L. Harvey Vice-President, Finance
Ms. Carmen Charette Vice-President, Programs

Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation established by the federal government to strengthen Canadian capability for research. The CFI will achieve this objective by committing funds over the next five years in the development of research infrastructure in Canada. The CFI’s mandate is to increase the capability of Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals, and other not-for-profit institutions to carry out important world-class scientific research and technology development. To implement its mandate, the Foundation, in co-operation with funding partners, provides infrastructure for research and development that will:

  • support economic growth and job creation;
  • lead to improvements in health, the environment, and quality of life;
  • build capacity for innovation;
  • strengthen training for research careers for young Canadians;
  • attract and retain capable researchers in Canada;
  • promote networks and collaboration among researchers; and
  • ensure the optimal use of Canadian research infrastructure by promoting sharing within and among institutions.

The CFI was established by the federal government with an up-front investment of $800 million. This principal amount and accrued interest will enable the Foundation to contribute, on average, about $180 million annually over five years to research infrastructure projects. The CFI will target its investment at key needs in the areas of health, environment, science, and engineering. The Foundation will operate on the principle that its investments are made in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors as well as with provincial governments. The Foundation’s contributions are expected to average 40% of total eligible project costs, but will not exceed 50% for an individual project. On this basis, funding for the total investment by the Foundation and its partners should exceed $2 billion.

The CFI’s Board of Directors is comprised of 15 distinguished individuals, drawn primarily from the research and business communities. The Board of Directors will be responsible for approving the Foundation’s policies and programs, and for deciding how funds will be allocated. Eight directors were elected by the CFI members, while six directors were appointed by the Government of Canada. Dr. John Evans also serves as a director. The Board of Directors will be accountable to the Foundation’s 15 members, whose role will be similar to that of the shareholders of a corporation, and who will approve the Foundation’s financial controls and audits. Six of the 15 members were appointed by the federal government and the other nine were elected by the first six members. The Minister of Industry will annually inform Parliament of the CFI’s activities. Dr. Keith Brimacombe and Dr. Denis Gagnon were appointed, respectively, President and CEO, and Senior Vice-President of the corporation in October 1997. Their main responsibility is to develop and implement policies and programs designed to modernize Canada's research infrastructure.