Government of Canada supports data-rich research

New cyberinfrastructure funding to enhance virtual research networks across the country
September 15, 2016

Montreal, Quebec — The Government of Canada understands the central role researchers play in making the discoveries and innovations necessary to explore the nature of the universe or understand the effects of noise pollution on marine life. To advance their experiments, many researchers need powerful computational tools and access to digital networks to rapidly process large amounts of data and quickly share results with collaborators across the country and around the world.

Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie — Le Sud-ouest — Île-des-soeurs announced today more than $10 million in research infrastructure funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) latest Cyberinfrastructure Initiative competition as well as an additional $3 million through the Infrastructure Operating Fund. This funding will support seven projects at six universities across the country.

MP Miller made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Science at McGill University in Montreal, which is receiving more than $1.1 million for CBRAIN, one of the world’s most advanced computing platforms for brain research. This field is critically important to help find cures for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke and Multiple Sclerosis and to better manage mental disorders, such as depression and stress.

With new CFI funding, CBRAIN will be able to combine huge amounts of data from genetics, brain imaging and psychological interviews with the help of massive computing resources to tackle these health challenges that touch all Canadians.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation; Marc Rousseau, Manager of Technology Development, CBRAIN Data Systems; Dr. Rose Goldstein, Vice-Principal, Research & Innovation, McGill University; Alan C. Evans, Principal Investigator and Director, McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience; MP Marc Miller; Reza Adalat, Chief Operating Officer, McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience; Anne McKinney, Associate Vice-Principal, Research & Innovation, McGill University; Nathalie Foisset, Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives, Research & Innovation, McGill University.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada’s infrastructure investments through the CFI help improve the quality of life for Canadians by giving researchers the infrastructure they need to find cures for brain diseases such as Alzheimers and mental health issues such as stress. The research enabled by these investments also supports the Government’s vision to foster a rich culture of research and innovation in Canada that leads to a clean, sustainable economy and a strong, healthy middle class.

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“The CFI supports Canadian research and innovation at universities and colleges across the country. I look forward to the exciting collaborations this investment will inspire among the three projects at McGill and at the Université de Montreal.”

Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie — Le Sud-ouest — Île-des-soeurs

“There is an urgent need for Canada’s researchers to share information with one another to get closer to breakthroughs,” says Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “With this mass of information spread out across the world comes the growing need to equip our great minds with better and faster virtual networks.”

Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

"We are grateful to the Canada Foundation for Innovation for this investment in Canada’s future. The Cyberinfrastructure Initiative is giving our researchers the processing power needed to drive an unprecedented fusing of the physical sciences with digital technology and biology.”

Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University

“Lack of computational power is creating a bottleneck in the process of understanding and treating diseases of the brain. We have many ways to capture neurological data, but what are you supposed to do with it all? This new funding will help us create a causal model of complex diseases like Alzheimer’s, analyzing its many elements and how they interact with one another.”

Alan Evans, professor of neurology, neurosurgery and biomedical engineering at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Quick facts

  • Created in 1997, the CFI is contributing more than $10 million through its latest Cyberinfrastructure Initiative to encourage Canada’s researchers to work with each other and with data scientists, data analysts and software developers using virtual networks, portals and the like to explore new solutions to interpret and analyze increasingly complex data sets
  • The Cyberinfrastructure Initiative aims to enhance the capacity of Canadian institutions and researchers to conduct leading-edge research in areas of demonstrated strength by supporting the infrastructure needs of computationally- and data-intensive research
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $3 million is being awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which helps institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

Related products

A full list of the funded projects is available online at Innovation.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the difference CFI funding makes in Canada.

Associated links      

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative

The CFI Research Facilities Navigator – An online directory of CFI-funded labs that are available to collaborate with the private sector.

Contacts

Veronique Perron

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Science

343-291-2600

Veronique.Perron [at] canada.ca

Media Relations

Innovation, Science, and Economic

Development Canada

343-291-1777

ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic [at] canada.ca  

Malorie Bertrand

Media Relations and

Communications Officer

Canada Foundation for Innovation

613-943-2580 (office)

613-447-1723 (mobile)

malorie.bertrand [at] innovation.ca

Cyberinfrastructure Initiative
Projects approved

Applicant institution

Core Scientific Team

Project title

Maximum CFI contribution

Dalhousie University

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Simon Fraser University
The University of British Columbia
Université du Québec à Rimouski
University of Victoria

MERIDIAN: Marine Environment Research Infrastructure for Data Integration and Application Network

$1,820,901

McGill University

Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Concordia University
Dalhousie University
Douglas Hospital
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research – Jewish General Hospital
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Simon Fraser University
The Hospital for Sick Children
The University of British Columbia
The University of Western Ontario
Université Laval
Université de Montréal
Université de Sherbrooke
University of Alberta
University of Calgary

CBRAIN: A National High-performance Computing Platform for Brain Research

1 181 339 $

Simon Fraser University

BC Cancer Agency
University of Toronto

Immune Receptor Repertoire Data Commons for Personalized Immunotherapy

$524,707

The Hospital for Sick Children

BC Cancer Agency
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research – Jewish General Hospital
McGill University
Simon Fraser University
Université de Sherbrooke
University Health Network

CanDIG: Canadian Distributed cyber-Infrastructure for Genomics

$1,960,000

Université de Montréal

École Polytechnique de Montréal
Montreal Heart Institute
McGill University
The University of British Columbia
University of Toronto

Software Infrastructure for Deep Learning

2 000 000 $

Université de Montréal

Concordia University
Indiana University
McGill University
Simon Fraser University
Université Laval
Université du Québec à Montréal
University of Guelph
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
University of Victoria

Open Science SSH Cyberinfrastructure

1 736 126 $

University of Victoria

Laurentian University
McGill University
The University of British Columbia
TRIUMF
University of Toronto
University of Victoria

Distributed Data and Cloud Computing System for High Energy Physics

$824,000

TOTAL

 

7 projects

$10,047,073

NOTE:
As part of this announcement, an additional $3,014,122 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a mechanism that assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.