Lab Canada

$90.5M for health and advanced technologies research and development

Ottawa, ON – The federal government is awarding $90.5 million over four years in seven Networks of Centres of Excellence across the country.

One new network has been established and six other existing networks were given additional funding. AllerGen (Allergy, Genes and Environment Network) has been chosen as the newest Network of Centres of Excellence. Hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, the new network will receive $20,865,000 from 2005 to 2009.

The Allergen network will bring together more than 120 researchers and collaborators located at 14 Canadian universities and more than 50 Canadian and international partners to develop new genetic and other medical diagnostic tests, better medications, and environmental, health and workplace safety policies and improved care for allergic disease sufferers.

Four established networks received funding for another seven years. Those networks are:

– The Canadian Arthritis Network (hosted by Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto). $16,292,000. This network is the single point of contact linking 145 leading Canadian arthritis researchers and clinicians, 50 Canadian academic institutions, the Arthritis Society, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and government.

– MITACS (The Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems hosted by Simon Fraser University, Burnaby). $21,603,000. MITACS initiates and fosters linkages between 36 researchers at 36 universities, working in collaboration with 94 industries and 59 other partners that require mathematical technologies to deal with problems of strategic importance to Canada.

– The Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (hosted by Universit Laval). $16,972,000. This network supports 107 academic researchers at 29 universities, working in partnership with 41 industries and 18 other collaborators.

– GEOIDE (The Geomatics for Informed Decisions (hosted by Universit Laval). $14,018,000. GEOIDE supports 180 researchers at 61 universities, working in collaboration with 93 industries and 59 other partners to develop applications that support transportation, health care, natural resources, pollution monitoring and environmental assessment.

In addition, two other Networks of Centres of Excellence established since 1990 will receive research management funding to enable them to complete their knowledge, technology transfer and exploitation activities. The Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, based at the University of British Columbia and the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems managed by Precarn in Ottawa will receive $500,000 and $250,000, respectively.

“Canada has a long tradition of university-based research excellence," says Dr Tom Brzustowski, chair of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee and president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). "Networks of Centres of Excellence, which create a critical mass of research capacity in complex areas, boost our capacity to solve important problems, attract and retain highly skilled people, and generate valuable intellectual property.”