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CFI Awards over $17.7M to Canadian researchers


Halifax, NS March 4, 2003 Today, Carmen Charette, senior vice-president of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) was joined by Minister of Industry, Allan Rock, to announce over C$17.7 million in New Opportunities awards to 97 of the nation’s emerging research leaders at 26 Canadian universities.

“The New Opportunities Fund is having a major impact on Canada’s research institutions,” says Ms Charette. “It’s helping to preserve and bolster Canada’s most important resource of the new millennium — our intellectual capital.”

The New Opportunities Fund enables eligible universities to provide world-class infrastructure for newly recruited faculty members to undertake leading-edge research in their first full-time academic appointment. To date, the New Opportunities Fund has launched the careers of well over 1,600 new faculty researchers at universities across the country.

“The New Opportunities Fund is helping to attract and retain the best and brightest researchers to Canadian institutions,” says Dr Rey Pagtakhan, minister of veterans affairs and secretary of state (science, research and development). “Providing them with state-of-the-art infrastructure will help Canada stay at the forefront of the global knowledge-based economy.”

The $17.7 million CFI investment is being awarded through two funds: $13.7 million under the New Opportunities Fund, and a further $4 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund to help universities with related operating and maintenance costs. Unlike other CFI programs, the Infrastructure Operating Fund has no requirement for matching funds.

The projects were selected on the recommendation of experts who thoroughly assessed each project against the three CFI criteria:

– Quality of research and the need for infrastructure;

– Contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation;

– Potential benefits of the research to Canada.

Some examples of exciting research receiving funding across the country are:

– Concordia University – a laboratory to study aspects of the global organic carbon cycle in the marine environment;

– Trent University – a facility to study gene expression and DNA profiling applications in environmental and cancer research;

– Memorial University of Newfoundland – equipment to study cellular signaling mechanisms in growth, development, and disease;

– University of Calgary – electrophysiology and laser stimulation system for assessing the synaptic regulation of the stress response.

A detailed list of the projects approved by the CFI to date, and a listing of the approved funding for this announcement, are available at www.innovation.ca.