OTTAWA, ONT. — The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the importance of strengthening Canada’s ability to make vaccines and other lifesaving medicines, and of being prepared for future pandemics or other health emergencies. In September 2021, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) launched the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) to provide institutions and research hospitals with tools, research spaces and biocontainment facilities to respond to this need.
The results of the first BRIF competition, which supported upgrades to eight biocontainment facilities across the country, were announced in November 2022. Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the launch of the second BRIF competition.
This national competition is a partnership with the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF). It will award up to $570 million for cutting-edge research, talent development and research infrastructure projects associated with five biomedical research hubs that were awarded funding through Stage 1 of CBRF. That funding was also announced by the ministers today.
The research hubs will be located at The University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa (co-led by McMaster University), and the Université de Montréal, and will serve to speed up the research and development of vaccines and other medicines and diagnostics, and to support training and development of highly skilled bioscience professionals.
“Collaboration between research teams, across disciplines or among institutions and industry sectors enables timely and thoughtful responses to the many urgent needs caused by the global pandemic and allows us to plan,” says Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the CFI. “The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund complements the efforts of the research hubs, encourages collaboration and addresses infrastructure needs in institutions and research hospitals to support pandemic preparedness and responses to emerging health threats.”
Together, CBRF and BRIF support high-risk, applied research, training and talent development, as well as research infrastructure, to establish a robust biomanufacturing sector in Canada.
- The result of Stage 1 of the Canada Biomedical Research Fund, announced today, is an investment of $10 million in support of the creation of five research hubs.
- The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund – Partnership with Stage 2 of the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF – BRIF Stage 2), launched today, includes an investment of $570 million: $360 million through the CFI’s BRIF and $210 million through the federal research funding agencies’ CBRF.
- The CFI will invest a total of $500 million through BRIF over four years to support the biosciences infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and affiliated research hospitals.
- CBRF is a total investment of $250 million over four years, administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.