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The CFI launches new Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

Call for proposals for funding to keep Canadian biosciences facilities at the cutting-edge

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — At a time when it is essential for countries to do what they can to remain at the forefront of research in tackling emerging global health issues such as COVID-19, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is launching a call for proposals under the new Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF).

This $150 million investment will respond to urgent and essential needs of postsecondary institutions and research hospitals by supporting containment levels 3 and 4 (CL3 and CL4) facilities capable of working with human pathogens. The funding will help institutions keep their facilities at the cutting-edge, strengthening their capacity to work with industry and government to advance promising discoveries and promote training and talent development in the biosciences.

Canadian bioscience researchers need high-performance tools and innovative research spaces and biocontainment facilities to bring their ideas from discovery through development and commercialization. In many cases, their work requires specialized equipment to ensure that infectious disease research is conducted safely.

The objectives of the first BRIF competition are to:

  • Address immediate infrastructure needs in postsecondary institutions’ and affiliated research hospitals’ capacity to support pandemic preparedness and respond to emerging health threats, consistent with Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy;
  • Support the development of strong linkages among researchers working in a variety of settings, including government laboratories, and users of research results in all sectors;
  • Create an environment to attract and train highly qualified personnel linked to the needs of the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector.

READ the call for proposals: Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

The funding for this competition comes from Budget 2021, where the CFI was allocated $500 million as part of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. This is the first competition under the BRIF. The remaining $350 million from Budget 2021 will be dispersed through a second, wider-ranging BRIF competition that is being developed in collaboration with the three federal granting agencies, NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR. More information on the next BRIF competition will be available in the coming weeks.

The CFI will hold virtual information sessions for researchers, research administrators and other interested stakeholders:

  • English: 1–2 p.m. (EDT), September 27, 2021; 
  • French: 1–2 p.m. (EDT), September 28, 2021.

The deadline to submit notices of intent for the first BRIF competition is October 18, 2021. For more information, please visit our website or contact BRIF-FIRSB [at] innovation.ca.