Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation Welcomed by Science Community

February 19, 1997

Ottawa, February 19, 1997 — Industry Minister John Manley, Health Minister David Dingwall, and Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development, Dr. Jon Gerrard, today joined with representatives from the industry, health and science research communities in welcoming Dr. John Evans as the prospective Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). 

The Foundation, announced in the Budget, will provide significant financial support for the modernization of research infrastructure at Canadian universities and research hospitals in the areas of science, health, engineering and the environment. It will also work to ensure that Canada is among the best in the world in applying and commercializing S&T for sustainable job creation and economic growth the heart of the government's S&T strategy. 

"The Foundation represents an entirely new approach by the government to supporting innovation and research," said Mr. Manley. "It will keep Canada at the leading edge of science and technology, and provide opportunities for Canada's best and brightest researchers to pursue their careers in Canada." 

"Innovative health and medical research is a cornerstone of a modern health system and vital to maintaining a high standard of health among Canadians," Mr. Dingwall said. "The Foundation is an unprecedented boost for Canadian health research scientists and provides an opportunity to advance knowledge and expertise in the interests of improving health." 

"As we head into the next century, the economic well being and quality of life of Canadians will increasingly depend on innovation, on the generation of new knowledge, and on our ability to put it to use," said Dr. Gerrard. "To help meet this challenge, the government is investing in research capability, in people, in networks and in collaboration in a way that will keep Canadians at the forefront of research and technology development." 

The CFI will be an independent corporation, at arm's length from the government, and will draw from members of the research community and the private sector. The federal government will provide an up-front investment of $800 million, which will allow the Foundation to provide about $180 million on average annually for research infrastructures over the next five years. Partnerships with other organizations will give the Foundation the potential to invest up to $2 billion in research infrastructures in Canada.