Funding for research in universities and hospitals leads to tangible socioeconomic benefits in Estrie

Research on aging and rehabilitation demonstrates the benefits of supporting research in Quebec

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec have joined forces to demonstrate the socioeconomic benefits of their investments outside major urban centres.

With this goal in mind, they conducted a study on the impact of funding for research on aging and rehabilitation in the Estrie region of Quebec, revealing benefits not only for universities and hospitals, but also for society and the economy at large.

The complementarity and synergy of investments in research stimulate multidisciplinarity and the development of communities of researchers, professors, students, professionals and research assistants. They also enhance the training of people at the beginning of their careers and knowledge acquisition in general. Added skills and competencies boost the research community’s chance of success.

The region has already seen the tangible impacts on the health and wellbeing of seniors in terms of improved care, nutrition, medication use and independence.

Among these tangible results is the creation of smart systems for elderly people living with cognitive disorders, designed by the DOMUS laboratory at Université de Sherbrooke. The technologies developed ensure the physical safety of individuals and provide information about sleep quality and proper medication use.

In addition, other work at Sherbrooke’s Research Centre on Aging has leveraged advances in motion capture technology, wearable sensors and data processing to develop innovative methods for personalized patient care. This research has led to the development of new tools to remotely assess the symptoms and functional mobility of people living at home with Parkinson’s disease.

Read the key facts, the executive summary and the final report to learn more about the specific outcomes of each of these projects.


“As we like to say at the CFI, research is about serving communities, and this study in Estrie is a perfect example of that. This multilateral study demonstrates how multiple funding sources can be leveraged to provide researchers with state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment and to expand our knowledge of key issues in our society, such as aging. We are delighted that, in addition to promoting the wellbeing of seniors, this research is facilitating the training of students, and therapists, clinicians and rehabilitation professionals will be able to implement new approaches and new technologies.”
– Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the CFI

“This research has tangible social and economic benefits for the Estrie region and for all of Quebec. It helps improve the quality of life of seniors, drives innovation and helps train talent for a highly qualified workforce. All of this is made possible thanks to joint and complementary financing from the Fonds de recherche du Québec, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec.”
– Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec

Key facts about research funding in this case study:

  • Three organizations, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, are joining forces to fund research on aging and rehabilitation in order to promote home care for seniors and allow them to live at home longer.
  • These funds are being used to buy equipment and software, establish multidisciplinary teams and acquire essential knowledge and skills.
  • These are often the first sources of funding that allow research teams to demonstrate proof of concept, which then attracts other public and private investors.

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About the Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) makes financial contributions to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high-quality research. The CFI invests in the infrastructure that researchers need to think big, innovate and push the boundaries of knowledge. It helps attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.

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