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$48M new funding for research commercialization centres


Ottawa, ON One of Canada’s most successful research commercialization programs has awarded additional funding to four Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). Grants totalling $48.1 million, resulting from the latest CECR competition, have been awarded to the following recipients:

  • The Centre for Drug Research and Development – CDRD ($8 million)
  • The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization – CPDC ($13.8 million)
  • MaRS Innovation – MI ($14.95 million)
  • The Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development – PC-TRIADD ($11.33 million)

Since the first centres were opened in 2008, CECRs have helped launch 94 companies and leverage almost $270 million in partner contributions, or $1.85 for every dollar of CECR funding spent by the centres. Companies served by CECRs have created more than 3,600 jobs in the program’s first four years.

“One of our key requirements was for centres to develop a business plan that showed how they can become self-sustainable,” said Suzanne Fortier, chair of the NCE Steering Committee and president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. “We want to ensure that this program continues to generate benefits, even after the end of a funding period.”

“The CECR program has been extremely effective in bridging the challenging gap between innovation and commercialization,” added Nancy Hughes Anthony, chair of the NCE’s Private Sector Advisory Board. “It occupies a unique place along the innovation continuum, leveraging the expertise and resources of the private and public sectors to translate promising research into tangible benefits for Canada.”

The CECR program is managed by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat on behalf of the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada. It was created in 2007 with a $285 million investment over five years. The program’s budget was $31.2 million in 2011-12, and it currently supports 22 active centres based across the country.