Canada Foundation For Innovation Launches National Funding Competition For Research Infrastructure

December 9, 1997

OTTAWA, December 9, 1997- Dr. Keith Brimacombe, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today announced the launch of a national competition for funding infrastructure projects in Canadian research institutions. The guidelines and selection criteria released today in the document entitled "Competition Announcement" were approved at the inaugural meeting of the CFI Board of Directors on December 1, 1997.

"Canadian research institutions will be able to submit their first proposals to the CFI by May 1, 1997," said Dr. Brimacombe. "Our priority is to give the research community enough lead time to prepare the best possible proposals. To do so, institutions will have to define their own priorities, talk to other research institutions, and look for potential partners."

The CFI emphasizes the strategic development of Canadian research institutions and offers four funding mechanisms to help institutions launch new research programs and strengthen existing ones. To be considered for funding, eligible institutions will have to submit a development plan addressing their priorities for research and the training of researchers. The Foundation will not assess the plans themselves, but will ascertain that reasonable consultation took place with all stakeholders.

The Institutional Innovation Fund
will be the CFI's main support mechanism and will enable eligible institutions, alone or in groups, to strengthen their research infrastructure in priority areas. This mechanism is aimed at enabling Canadian researchers to work on groundbreaking topics, and will promote interdisciplinary approaches and contributions from individuals from a variety of institutions and sectors.

Regional/National Facilities are designed to encourage institutions to come together in regional or national consortia and to plan co-operatively for the acquisition or development of research infrastructure.

New Opportunities
will provide infrastructure support to new academic staff. This mechanism will help universities attract new faculty members in areas that are essential to the institution's research development.

The Research Development Fund is identical in purpose to the Institutional Innovation Fund and New Opportunities but is specifically designed to help eligible smaller universities strengthen their research infrastructure.

"Our next step is to work out the details of the review process, and to hold a series of regional meetings early in the new year to explain CFI policies and to answer the questions from the research community and the private sector," said Dr. Denis Gagnon, CFI Senior Vice-President. "We will also be talking to federal, provincial, and voluntary agencies involved in research funding to find ways to collaborate with them."

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