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New infrastructure $ for Canada

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), an independent organization established by the government in 1997 to fund research infrastructure, announced a new C$45.5 million ($38.2USD million) program last month aimed at providing equipment and attracting researchers to Canadian institutions. The scheme will jump start 251 projects across 44 universities under two funds: C$38.2 million ($32.1USD million) was awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund -- a scheme for universities to buy equipmen

By | January 7, 2009

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), an independent organization established by the government in 1997 to fund research infrastructure, announced a new C$45.5 million ($38.2USD million) program last month aimed at providing equipment and attracting researchers to Canadian institutions. The scheme will jump start 251 projects across 44 universities under two funds: C$38.2 million ($32.1USD million) was awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund -- a scheme for universities to buy equipment, buildings, and databases -- and the remaining C$7.2 million ($6.0USD million) under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, an accompanying program to cover maintenance and operational costs.
"Investing in cutting-edge labs, equipment, and technology has transformed Canada's research landscape over the past decade," said linkurl:Eliot Phillipson,;http://www.innovation.ca/en/about-the-cfi/staff/biography-eliot-phillipson the CFI's president and CEO, in a linkurl:press release.;http://www.innovation.ca/en/news?news_id=18 "The CFI keeps pace with this transformation to ensure Canadian research institutions and their researchers remain world class." To put this funding in perspective, the new CFI investment is on par with the annual budget increases of the linkurl:Canadian Institutes of Health Research;http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/ and the linkurl:Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council,;http://nserc.ca/ the country's largest research funding bodies. The total 2008-09 budgets of the CIHR and NSERC were C$831 million ($695USD million) and C$999 million ($835USD million), respectively. The University of Toronto was the biggest winner, receiving C$4.7 million ($4.0USD million) for more than 20 projects, including studies of metabolomics, plant evolutionary genomics, and mapping genetic interactions. The University of Montreal pulled in C$3.9 million ($3.3USD million) to investigate HIV-host cell interactions, whole genome population genetics, multi-protein complexes, and RNA engineering. Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, was awarded C$2.1 million ($1.8USD million) for several projects including studies of gastrointestinal disease, tissue engineering, and biodiversity. A full list of the institutes and projects that received funding under the scheme is available on the linkurl:CFI website.;http://www.innovation.ca/en/news?news_id=18
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Oh, Canada!;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15054/
[8th November 2004]*linkurl:More funds for Canada science;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22070/
[24th March 2004]*linkurl:Canadian researchers cheer new funding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21129/
[20th February 2003]
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 4

January 8, 2009

While this money is very welcome, I would caution readers: 'Don't believe the hype.'\n\nThese CFI programs were put into place some (5?) years ago and so far the goverment has been generous enough to continue them. On the other hand, some funding programs were put on hold as a result of the CFI program. The large equipment grant program from NSERC is one example.\n\nThe CFI program does provide much needed funding for infrastructure, but one could ask if the additional layers of bureaucracy has really added any benefits in terms of accountability. The national funding programs (CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC) already had in place mechanisms for funding infrastructure.

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