CFI Announces $22 million to help launch the careers of 124 researchers at Canadian universities

October 18, 2002

Ottawa, October 18, 2002 – Today, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Senior Vice-President, Carmen Charette, was joined by Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development) on behalf of Allan Rock Minister of Industry, in the CFI’s announcement of over $22 million to provide world-class research facilities to 124 new faculty at 27 universities across the country.

“The investment announced today will help attract and retain even more top-quality researchers to Canada.” said Minister Rock. “This will increase Canada’s ability to compete for highly skilled workers and to reach our target of becoming one of the top five countries for R&D by 2010.”

“Today’s investment will provide researchers with the tools they need to conduct world class research”, said Minister Pagtakhan. “Maximizing the innovative capacity of our nation will have tremendous economic and social benefits, and will ultimately lead to a higher standard of living for all Canadians.”

“Universities across the country have widely applauded the New Opportunities Fund Program as a timely initiative that has enabled them to hire some outstanding new researchers,” said Carmen Charette. “This program has given investigators an opportunity to accelerate their careers through access to state-of-the-art equipment and other facilities.”

Under the New Opportunities Fund, the CFI Board of Directors approved an investment of $17 million in infrastructure for 98 projects at 27 universities. They include:  

  • at Simon Fraser University – a macromolecular X-Ray crystallography and biophysics facility for medical research;  
  • at the University of Manitoba – biodiversity and environmental science laboratories;  
  • at Carleton University – a computer facility for research in photonics, robust data mining and combinatorial information theory;  
  • at l’Université de Montréal – a molecular genetics research lab for the study of diabetes and obesity;  
  • at the University of New Brunswick - a water/ waste treatment and environment research laboratory.

The projects were selected on the recommendation of experts who thoroughly assessed each project against the three CFI criteria:  

  • Quality of research and the need for infrastructure.
  • Contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation.
  • Potential benefits of the research to Canada.

The $22 million CFI investment is being awarded through two funds: $17 million under the New Opportunities Fund, and a further $5.1 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) to help universities with the operating and maintenance costs. Unlike other CFI programs the Infrastructure Operating Fund has no requirement for matching funds.

A list of the projects approved by the CFI to date, and a listing of the approved funding for this announcement, are available here.

Further, the CFI has approved over $300 million toward the New Opportunities Fund for the period 2003-2010. “The CFI Board of Directors has recognized the important role state-of-the-art equipment plays in attracting and retaining the best minds at a time when there is great demand all over the world,” said Dr. David Strangway, President and CEO. “They fully appreciate the impact the New Opportunities Fund is having in enabling institutions to plan strategically according to needs and priorities. This new allocation will support longer-term institutional planning.”

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to strengthen the capacity for innovation in Canadian universities and research institutions.

For more information about Canada's Innovation Strategy or to obtain a copy of either Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians or Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity, please call 1-800-0-CANADA (1-800-622-6232).

For further information:

Douglas Lauriault
Public Affairs
Canada Foundation for Innovation
(613) 996-3193
douglas.lauriault [at]
Daphne Guerrero
Office of Dr. Rey Pagtakhan,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State
(Science, Research and Development)
(613) 995-1333

    Canada Foundation for Innovation / 
Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation

New Opportunities Fund / Fonds de relève


- Alberta
- British Columbia / Colombie-Britannique
- Manitoba
- New Brunswick / Nouveau-Brunswick
- Nova Scotia / Nouvelle-Écosse
- Ontario
- Quebec / Québec
- Saskatchewan    

Institution / Établissement Projects Approved / Projets appuyés
Brock University 2
Carleton University 3
Dalhousie University 5
Laurentian University 1
McGill University 3
McMaster University 5
Mount Allison University 1
Nova Scotia Agricultural College 1
Queen’s University 2
Ryerson Polytechnic University 3
Simon Fraser University 2
Université Laval 4
Université de Montréal 7
Université du Québec Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) 1
Université du Québec École de technologie supérieure 1
University of Alberta 11
University of British Columbia 6
University of Calgary 4
University of Guelph 3
University of Manitoba 4
University of New Brunswick /
Université du Nouveau-Brunswick
University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa 2
University of Saskatchewan 4
University of Toronto 11
University of Victoria 2
University of Waterloo 2
York University 6
Total of 27 universities/des 27 universités 98