Government of Canada announces research funding to improve quality of life and economic prosperity

January 24, 2012

OTTAWA, January 24, 2012 – The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today announced support for 132 research projects in 31 communities across Canada to be delivered through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is providing $33 million to support Canadian researchers in their work, such as the team of researchers at York University working to understand how proper management of pain in childhood can have life-long benefits. 

“Our government is investing in science and technology to improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen the economy,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “Investments in research and development are ensuring that our scientists have the resources they need to be successful.”

From the most advanced medical technology, to the latest opportunities in business and finance, this funding will support researchers at universities across the country.

“Canadians from coast to coast to coast can be assured that Canada’s research community is bringing its talents to bear on the problems that matter to them,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, Canada Foundation for Innovation President and Chief Executive Officer. “This round of investment illustrates the value of research and innovation in building stronger, healthier and more prosperous communities.”

Canada Foundation for Innovation funding – $25 million through the Leaders Opportunity Fund and $8 million through the Infrastructure Operating Fund – is awarded through a rigorous, objective and merit-based competition process.

The Leaders Opportunity Fund has a legacy of supporting research in communities across Canada. A full list of the funded projects is available online at


The Canada Foundation for Innovation is investing where it matters:

 Finding solutions for a growing oil sands industry
Through deepening their knowledge of the science behind bitumen, researchers at the University of Alberta are working to develop more sustainable techniques for oil extraction and refinement. This research will result in improved oil sands processing techniques while maintaining environmental stewardship. 

• Creating a more personalized approach to cancer treatment
Researchers at the University of Toronto are developing new imaging methods to help physicians rapidly identify ineffective chemotherapy or other cancer treatments and adjust a patient’s course of treatment. They are also working on making radiation treatments 50 to 100 times more effective, potentially reducing the level of radiation required. This research has far-reaching implications, since more than 50 percent of cancer patients undergo radiation therapy.

• Reinforcing bridges and overpasses
Only 50% of Quebec’s bridges and overpasses are currently considered to be in good condition. Researchers at Université de Sherbrooke think they may have found a way to boost this figure to 80% and improve the safety of Quebec’s 9,000-odd provincial and municipal bridges and overpasses. Among the methods being developed to reinforce these aging structures are real-time simulations of impact loads on bridges.

• Supporting prosperous farming communities
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are working with Prairie farmers to diversify their income sources and agricultural productivity through agroforestry, the integration of trees in farmland. Promoted for the production of biomass, a source of energy, agroforestry may also restore soil productivity in marginal lands, helping farmers remain profitable.

• Links between early painful experiences and dealing with distress as an adult
Watching children suffer through getting a needle is something every parent dreads. Researchers at York University suspect that how parents and caregivers soothe infants during painful experiences such as vaccination may have an effect on how children cope with distress later in life. The team at York are exploring how managing pain properly in early childhood may affect health in adulthood.

• The networked world - delivering on the promise of social media
Researchers at Dalhousie University’s Social Media Lab are creating a hotbed for social media research in Atlantic Canada, helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations understand how to engage in online conversations with Canadians. This work is embedded in a growing industry. The Social Media Lab plans to form a social media analytics company, ensuring that research conducted at the lab generates real opportunities in the community.

 - List of Approved Projects by Institution (PDF)

For more information and interview requests

Ryan Saxby Hill
Canada Foundation for Innovation
613-294-6247 (mobile)
ryansaxbyhill [at]

Jay Jacobson
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)