Taking advantage of the CFI Research Facilities Navigator

October 29, 2016

The CFI believes that supporting partnerships between researchers, institutions and the private and public sectors will increase the return on CFI investments by fostering dynamic interaction between sectors and facilitating the flow of research knowledge into the innovation system.

To this end, the CFI created the Research Facilities Navigator, an online directory of research labs and facilities in universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada where businesses and other organizations find the cutting-edge infrastructure and expertise to help meet their research and innovation needs.

To help establish partnerships with the private sector and gain broader exposure to potential private-sector collaborations, some institutions aim to maximize their participation in the Navigator. Institutions listing labs or facilities in the Navigator have been:

  • Encouraging smaller labs with the availability and capacity to work with the private sector, and labs led by more recently funded researchers to also participate in this directory, in addition to larger labs;
  • Including CFI-funded facilities, equipment and other infrastructure;
  • Proactively updating their facility’s profile to ensure Navigator users are accessing the most complete and up-to-date information about the labs, equipment, expertise and services; 
  • Actively promoting their participation in the Navigator and highlighting profiles through social media, institutional websites, researcher’s websites, industry organization websites, etc.

Here are examples of these practices:

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia has been a leader in seizing the opportunity to be part of the Navigator and in establishing the best practices of listing as many CFI-funded labs and other infrastructure as possible and in prominently showcasing the Navigator on the website for the Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation.

Upon receiving funding decisions from the CFI, the university also reminds project leaders about the Navigator as a part of next steps meetings held to provide further information about the administration of their CFI funding, and encourage them to add their facility to the Navigator once their CFI financial reporting is complete. Specific instructions for how to add their facilities to the Navigator are sent to the project leaders once projects have been completed.

When the CFI puts out a call for additional information for the Navigator, the Institutional Programs Office supports the CFI to ensure that these requests are made to the project leaders and that the information is collected to further improve upon the Navigator.


Sharon Wu
Portfolio Finance Director, Office of Vice President, Research & Innovation
Director, Institutional Programs
Phone: 604.827.5279
Email: sharon.wu [at] ubc.ca

Simon Fraser University

When Simon Fraser University’s Office of the Vice-President, Research (VPR) receives notification of an award, the Major Projects Office sends an email specifically to the successful project leader(s) informing them of the Navigator and encouraging them to list the lab or facility when the infrastructure becomes operational. SFU encourages its CFI-funded researchers to highlight their capabilities and connect with other CFI-funded labs and groups.

With regard to targeting specific labs and facilities, the OVPR coordinates with the Major Projects Office. Once the announcement embargo has been lifted, a reminder email is sent to project leaders to advise them that their lab/facility can now be listed in the CFI Research Facilities Navigator. The VPR Communications Manager sends an email/eBlast to the CFI-all list, as a reminder about the Navigator and promotes Navigator over SFU Research’s social media channels.


Charlene Allard
Manager, Infrastructure Projects, Major Projects Office
CFI and BCKDF Institutional Programs
Office of the Vice-President, Research
Phone: 778.782.9323
Email: crallard [at] sfu.ca (​)

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa updates its existing Navigator profiles every year to make sure the information is complete and up-to-date. At the same time, the university uses the opportunity to send another call out to CFI-funded labs and facilities on campus to list their profile in the Navigator.


Christian Beaulé
Director, Office of Strategic Development Initiatives
Research Services
Phone: 613.562.5800 ext. 3405
Email: cbeaule [at] uottawa.ca