Through the 2012 Major Science Initiatives Fund and in support of the Government of Canada’s science and technology strategy, Mobilizing science and technology to Canada’s advantage, the CFI contributed to the operating and maintenance (O & M) costs of CFI-funded large scale research facilities, and also provided governance and management oversight of these facilities based on best practices.
Often referred to as “Big Science”, a major science initiative (MSI) addresses a set of leading-edge scientific problems or questions of such significance, scope and complexity that it requires unusually large-scale facilities and equipment, substantial human resources, and complex operating and maintenance activities. As such, MSIs are typically too large to be funded exclusively by any one organization and have a life cycle extending over many years.
To ensure that CFI-funded MSI state-of-the-art facilities enable researchers to undertake world-class research and technology development that lead to social, economic and environmental benefits to Canada, the objectives of this fund were to:
- Enable MSIs to fully exploit their capabilities by contributing to their O & M costs;
- Promote the adoption of best practices in governance and management, including long-term strategic and operational planning.
Under the MSI Fund, the CFI will provide O & M funding, beyond that currently offered through the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF), for up to five years. Funding decisions will be based on the demonstrated need for O & M funding to enable these facilities to fully exploit their capabilities; on their advanced governance and management structures; on their scientific excellence; and on their current and potential benefits to Canada.