CFI Launches New Program To Attract Best, Retain Brightest

March 27, 2006

MONTREAL, March 27, 2006—Canada’s reputation as a destination of choice for the world’s top researchers was further enhanced today when the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced the inaugural recipients of its new Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) program. Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI, was joined by the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, to announce the $23.6 million investment that will benefit 145 researchers at 35 institutions from coast to coast.

Examples of the 130 wide-ranging projects being announced today include: addressing the contamination of our environment by toxic trace metals; finding cures for infectious and inflammatory diseases in children; understanding the socio-emotional development of teenagers; and increasing the performance of microsystems used by the automotive, medical, and telecommunications sectors.

Today’s announcement marks the inauguration of the CFI’s new Leaders Opportunity Fund. This new program, created to reflect Canada’s fast-evolving research environment, was designed to give Canadian universities the added flexibility they need to both attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers at a time of intense international competition for leading faculty.

“The government recognizes that Canada’s universities are global leaders in research, and today’s announcement is part of our commitment to see that continue,” said Minister Bernier. “This investment will not only benefit Canada’s universities and researchers—all Canadians stand to gain from the ensuing advancements in science and technology.”

“Investing in cutting-edge labs, equipment, and technology has transformed Canada’s research landscape over the past decade,” said Dr. Phillipson. “The CFI has, through this new LOF program, ensured that we keep pace with this transformation to ensure Canadian research institutions and their researchers remain world class.”

The $23.6 million investment announced today was approved by the CFI’s Board of Directors under two funds: $19.7 million under the LOF, and $3.9 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, an accompanying program which assists universities with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

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

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

For more information:

Angus McKinnon
Coordinator, Media Relations
(613) 996-3160
angus.mckinnon [at]

Canada Foundation for Innovation / 
Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation

Leaders Opportunity Fund / Fonds des leaders


 - Alberta 
 - British Columbia / Colombie-Britannique 
 - Manitoba 
 - New Brunswick / Nouveau Brunswick 
 - Newfoundland and Labrador / Terre-Neuve et Labrador 
 - Nova Scotia / Nouvelle-Écosse 
 - Ontario 
 - Quebec / Québec 
 - Saskatchewan

Institution / Établissement Projects Approved / Projets appuyés
Acadia University 1
Brock University 1
Cape Breton University 1
Carleton University 2
Dalhousie University 1
École Polytechnique de Montréal 2
Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne 1
McGill University 9
McMaster University 4
Memorial University of Newfoundland 3
Mount Saint Vincent University 1
Queen’s University 4
St. Francis Xavier University 1
Trent University 2
Université de Montréal 9
Université de Sherbrooke 2
Université du QC Institut national de la rech. Scientifique 1
Université du Québec à Montréal 2
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 1
University of Alberta 2
University of British Columbia (The) 14
University of Calgary (The) 3
University of Guelph 7
University of Manitoba (The) 1
University of New Brunswick 1
University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa 12
University of Saskatchewan 7
University of Toronto 11
University of Victoria 5
University of Waterloo 1
University of Western Ontario (The) 7
University of Windsor 2
University of Winnipeg (The) 1
Wilfrid Laurier University 3
York University 5
Total 35 Institutions /des 35 établissements 130
Project Title / Titre du projet

Maximum CFI Contribution /
Contribution maximale de la FCI

Acadia University

Infrastructure for Investigating the Biogeochemistry of Trace Metals in the Environment


1 project / projet


Brock University

Integrated Tools for DNA, RNA and Bioconjugate Synthesis


1 project / projet


Cape Breton University

Research Facility for the Study of the Performance of Intangible Cultural Heritage


1 project / projet


Carleton University

Advanced Microscopic and Spectroscopic Facilities to Study Antimicrobial Peptides


Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Field Laboratory

$113 653

2 projects / projets


Dalhousie University

Sedimentary Biogeochemistry Facility


1 project / projet


École Polytechnique de Montréal

Advanced Testing Laboratory for Optical Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems

148 837 $

Laboratoire de validation biodosimétrique de l'efficacité de la désinfection des eaux

125 000 $

2 projets / projects

273 837 $

Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne

Sediment Analysis and Paleolimnological Research Laboratory


1 project / projet


McGill University

Apoptosis in Cancer and in Inflammatory Disorders

159 889 $

Base de données regroupant les décisions judiciaires interprétant la loi type de la CNUDCI sur l'arbitrage commercial international

122 331 $

Building on Functional Genomics to Develop New Therapeutic and Diagnostic Strategies for Invasive Aspergillosis

116 124 $

Characterizing the Role of Fanconi Anaemia and Bloom Syndrome Genes in Sporadic and Hereditary Cancer

41 518 $

Clima-Dispersatron Experimental Apparatus and Database of Abundances Across Space to Provide Infrastructure for the Study of Species Ranges

180 676 $

Global Structural Modifications in Mitochondrial and Genomic DNA and Cancer DNA Phenotype in Prostate Malignancy

134 052 $

Modular Flexibility of Dysferlin - Application to Therapeutic Strategies

117 828 $

Perceptual Evaluation of Human Computer Interaction: Applications to the Design of Adaptive Multimodal Systems

224 885 $

Assembling In Vivo Imaging and Molecular Genetics Facility to Study Brain Wiring and Rewiring in the Nematode C. Elegans

296 035 $

9 projets / projects

1 393 338 $

McMaster University

Advanced Structural Control Testing Equipment and Full-Scale Monitoring System


Equipment for Measuring Biological Responses to Biomaterials


Microfabrication and Microfluidic Testing Facility for Plastic/Polymer Based Biomedical Devices


The Function and Regulation of Myogenic Progenitors During Aging and Exercise


4 projects / projets


Memorial University of Newfoundland

Bounded Rationality and Law Lab (BRLL)


Equipment for Fish Evolutionary and Conservation Biology Research


Equipment for Marine Chemical Ecology and Reproductive Biology Research


3 projects / projets


Mount Saint Vincent University

Plant Growth, Microscopy and Image Analysis


1 project / projet


Queen's University

Adolescent Socioemotional Development Laboratory


Facility for Research on the Neural Basis of the Affective Component of Pain


Infrastructure for MEMS/NEMS Dynamic Testing


Nanophotonics Computer Cluster: Physics and Applications of Photonic Nanostructures


4 projects / projets


St. Francis Xavier University

Laboratory Infrastructure for the Synthesis and Characterization of Enantiopure Metallopolymers


1 project / projet


Trent University

Laboratory for Coherent Control of Novel Molecular States


The Synthesis, Characterization and Identification of Atmospheric Pollutants and Degradation Products in the Canadian Troposphere


2 projects / projets


Université de Montréal

Confocal Microscopy Facility and Infrastructure for In-vitro Culturing of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

379 622 $

Dock180, an Atypical Activator of Rac: Understanding of an Evolutionarily Conserved Signalling Pathway Controlling Cell Migration

159 273 $

Laboratoire d'observation de pratiques d'enseignement et d'apprentissage de la lecture et de l'écriture auprès d'enfants sourds

86 825 $

Modèles de souris humanisées: outils d'études des pathologies immunitaires et d'optimisation de leurs traitements

244 058 $

Plasticity and Functional Re-Organization of Multisensory Processing During Normal and Pathological Development

240 922 $

Proton and Electron Transfer Reactions in Biochemistry: A Computational Approach

127 692 $

Quantifying Diffusion Coefficients in Heterogeneous (Environmental and Biological) Systems

319 981 $

Translational Pharmacogenomics in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

398 614 $

Complex Genetic Data Analysis

165 492 $

9 projets / projects

2 122 479 $

Université de Sherbrooke

Banc d'essais de pylônes de lignes de transport d'énergie électrique

320 000 $

Establishment of a Molecular Ecology Laboratory - Établissement d'un laboratoire d'écologie moléculaire

106 494 $

2 projets / projects

426 494 $

Université du QC Institut national de la rech. scientifique

Establishment of a Laboratory to Study Regulation of Steroidogenesis in Endocrine Tissues and Mechanisms of Interference by Endocrine Disruptors

344 843 $

1 projet / project

344 843 $

Université du Québec à Montréal

A Novel Isotope Geochemical Approach to Elucidate Global and Regional Nitrogen Cycles

170 551 $

Xénobiotiques: synthèse, métabolisme et interactions

464 825 $

2 projets / projects

635 376 $

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Laboratoire de virologie et immuno-oncologie moléculaires

393 096 $

1 projet / project

393 096 $

University of Alberta

Interdisciplinary Arts-Based Research Centre


Combined Pulsed Laser Deposition – Sputter System for Synthesis of Multiphase Nanostructured Materials and Micro-Devices


2 projects / projets


University of British Columbia (The)

A Multidisciplinary, Translational, Research Laboratory to Develop Therapeutic Strategies for Spinal Cord Injury


Advanced Newborn Brain Imaging Program


Children's Innate Immunity Research Facility


Facility for Cellular Lipid and Membrane Proteomics


Infrastructure for Investigating the Control of Protein Synthesis in Health and Human Disease


Instrument for the Spectroscopic Preparation and Characterization of Ultracold Molecular Plasmas and State-Detailed Rydberg Gases


Interactive Driving Simulator for Transportation and Traffic Engineering Research


Laboratory for Green Polymer Development


Laboratory for Therapeutic Risk-Benefit Analysis


Laboratory for Somatic Cell Site-Specific Genomic Targeting and Chromatin Analysis


NanoSystems Laboratory for Optical Clocking of Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata Circuits


Nutritional Epigenomics Facility


Robotics in Rehabilitation: Understanding the Neural Control and Adaptability of Human Walking to Enhance the Recovery of Gait Following Neurological Injury


The Facility for Synaptic Imaging: The Role of Intercellular Communication in Neuronal Identity and Synapse Formation


14 projects / projets


University of Calgary (The)

A Molecular Biology Laboratory to Study HIV and WNV Pathogenesis


Infrastructure for the Study of Gut Microbial Communities


Rapid Prototyping and Mixed RF/DSP Design of Radio Systems


3 projects / projets


University of Guelph

Acquisition of a Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope for Live Imaging of Subcellular Responses to Environmental Stimuli


Development of a Comparative Epilepsy Program


Enhanced Infrastructure for Multi-Media Information and Communication Research for Rural Development


Laboratory for the Development of New Analog Integrated Circuits and Microsystems


Pattern Formation in the Cerebellum: Deciphering the Stripes


Presynaptic Modulation of Neurotransmission


Infrastructure for Establishment of a Body Composition and Energy Metabolism (BCEM) Laboratory


7 projects / projets


University of Manitoba (The)

Endocrine Control of Ion and Osmotic Balance in Primitive Fish


1 project / projet


University of New Brunswick

Materials Characterization Infrastructure


1 project / projet


University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa

Bioimaging Laboratory


Computing Infrastructure Supporting Theoretical Developments in Molecular Evolution, Genomics and Bioinformatics


Establishment of an Experimental Embryology, Microscopy and Electrophysiology Laboratory to Study the Molecular Basis of Congenital Neuronal Defects and Stroke Recovery


High Throughput Screening to Identify Novel Oncolytic Viruses and Mechanisms of Therapeutic Action


Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory at the School of Management, University of Ottawa


Laboratory for Integrative Microbiology


Laboratory for Sensorimotor Neuroscience


Marine Minerals Research Laboratory


Mechanisms of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Biofilm-Specific Resistance to Antibiotics


Research Facility for the "Aging and Movement" Research Program


Laboratory for the Quantitative Analysis of Morphogenesis


Toward New Synthetic Methods Involving Photochemistry and Transition-Metal Catalysis; Development of Enantioselective Variants; Application to the Synthesis of Bioactive Natural Products


12 projects / projets


University of Saskatchewan

Development of a Confocal Microscopy System


Fetal Programming of the Immune System in Swine


In-vitro Aquatic Toxicology Research Facility


Rapid Prototyping of System-On-Chip Design


Spatial Memory Laboratory


X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Applied Research in Agroforestry


Biosorption in Nickel Plating Rinse Water Treatment


7 projects / projets


University of Toronto

Bone Engineering


Developing Social Brains


Development Platform and Testbed for Peer Network Protocol Architectures


Facility Integrating 2-Photon Imaging and Electrophysiology for Neurodevelopmental Research


High-Throughput Cell and Molecular Biology Facility for Functional Genomics Studies of Developmental Phase Transitions and Hormone Cross-Talk


Laboratory for Cellular Systems Biology


Laboratory for Functional Tissue Engineering


Numerical Astrophysical Laboratory for Planetary Studies


Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory, University of Toronto


Role of Subcellular Localization of Keysphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P)-Related Signaling Proteins in Microvascular Function


Systems Biology Facility for Proteomics of Plant-Microbe Interactions


11 projects / projets


University of Victoria

A Research Facility for Fundamental and Applied Studies in Biomolecular Recognition and Medicinal Chemistry


Chronic Disease Prevention Research and Knowledge Exchange Unit


Development of the Movement Skill Research Laboratory


Experimental Analysis Retrieval Laboratory for Audio-Based Environments (EARLAUBE)


Invertebrate Symbiosis and Pathology Laboratory


5 projects / projets


University of Waterloo

Facility for the Advancement of Underwater Sampling Technology


1 project / projet


University of Western Ontario (The)

A Behavioral Gene Discovery Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience


A Mobile Field Laboratory for Integrative Ecological Research (Western FLIER)


Equipment for Integrated Research on Deformation Structures in the Continental Lithosphere


Heating, Soil Monitoring and Nutrient Analysis Infrastructure for Long-Term Climate Simulations in the Field


Lake and Reservoir System Research Facility (LARSRF)


Molecular Regulation of Breast Cancer Cell Metastasis


Photonic Crystal Based Micro- and Nano-Sensors Facility


7 projects / projets


University of Windsor

Acoustic Location Systems and Advanced Recording and Playback Technology for Studying Communication Networks in Temperate and Tropical Birds


Scientific Computing Facility for the Computational Study of Ultrafast Light-Matter Interactions


2 projects / projets


University of Winnipeg (The)

Subatomic Physics Detector Lab


1 project / projet


Wilfrid Laurier University

An Ultracentrifuge for Isolating Membranes of Chloroplasts and Other Sub-Cellular Compartments and for Purifying DNA and Proteins


Environmental Surface Chemistry Studies: Development of Interdisciplinary Approaches for Investigating Interfacial Processes in Environmental Systems


High-Resolution Optical Microscopy and Microspectroscopy System for the Studies of Colloids, Self-assembly, and Advanced Materials


3 projects / projets


York University

A Facility for the Biogeographical Comparison of the Morphology and Physiology of Invasive Plant Species


Brain Mechanisms of Selection and Object Representation


Facility for Fabrication and In-Situ Micromapping of Polymer-Grafted Membrane-Mimetic Surfaces


Intense Source of Cold Positronium Atoms for Precise Measurements of Atomic Structure and Tests of QED


Laboratory for the Study of Energy Balance and Metabolic Partitioning


5 projects / projets