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Government of Canada Invests in Canadian Universities to Attract and Retain Top Researchers

KINGSTON, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/16/09 -- The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today announced $59 million in support for 262 projects in 40 Canadian research institutions, allowing talented researchers to conduct cutting-edge research in world-class facilities. This investment, made under the CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF), will benefit the work of 351 of the country's brightest minds.

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LOF investment at a glance:
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- Total: $59.39 million
- Institutions: 40
- Municipalities: 32
- Projects: 262
- Researchers supported: 351
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"Our government supports science and technology to create jobs, improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen the economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This investment will help develop, attract and retain the world's best researchers at universities and other institutions in Canada."

Speaking in Kingston, Minister of State Goodyear highlighted the government's support for a project at Queen's University that will research the potential impact of potassium in helping to regulate heart rates in people with certain types of heart conditions.

"Access to modern, cutting-edge equipment and facilities is imperative to research in the 21st century," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CFI. "For more than a decade, the CFI has provided thousands of world-class researchers with the tools they need to do their work. Without the right infrastructure, they quite simply wouldn't be in Canada."

These investments support cutting-edge research infrastructure that helps stimulate various sectors of the economy associated with such capital projects. It is estimated that every dollar invested directly in research yields more than $7 in economic benefits, including jobs.

The LOF is designed to support Canada's quickly evolving research environment by giving Canadian universities the flexibility they need to attract and retain the world's finest researchers at a time of intense international competition for knowledge workers.

The CFI's Board of Directors approved a total investment of $59,394,902 following a rigorous merit-review process. This amount included $45,688,386 awarded under the LOF, and another $13,706,516 awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program designed to contribute to the incremental operating and maintenance costs of infrastructure projects funded by the CFI.

These investments provide researchers in Canada with the tools necessary to carry out a spectrum of innovative research, such as:

- Improving the testing environment for subjects of autism spectrum disorder research and their families. Dalhousie University, Halifax

- Employing ancient lake data to study key environmental issues, including climate change, water quality and contaminant transport. Queen's University, Kingston

- Enhancing the quality of life and health of Canadians through new consumer self-care food products and improved diagnosis of life-threatening diseases. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

- Investigating the potential for alternative energy sources by developing new methods to safely store hydrogen for use in "green" fuels. University of Alberta, Edmonton

- Using cutting-edge imaging technologies to provide new insights into how the brain develops and changes in response to new experiences or pathology, such as stroke or diabetes. University of Victoria, Victoria

For a complete list of the funded projects, visit www.innovation.ca.

For Canadian research success stories, visit the CFI's online magazine, www.innovationcanada.ca.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed almost $5.2 billion in support of more than 6,300 projects at 130 research institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.

The CFI was recently named one of Canada's 50 Best Smalll and Medium Employers, 2009.

Contacts:
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Yves Melanson
Coordinator, Media Relations
613-996-3160
Cell.: 613-447-1723
[email protected]

Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Gary Toft
Director of Communications
613-943-7599
[email protected]

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