Canada First Research Excellence Fund announced
The federal government today announced details of the eagerly anticipated Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) at the University of Manitoba, attended the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder at IBM Laboratories in Markham, Ontario.
“We are excited by this bold legacy investment by the Government of Canada to strengthen excellence in science and research at post-secondary institutions,” says Jayas. “I congratulate Prime Minister Harper and the federal government on making this investment and fostering further international collaborations for our brightest researchers.”
The inaugural competition will see eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions vying for research funding over seven years. Proposals will be required to align with the Government of Canada’s renewed Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Strategy—also announced today—priority research areas: environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; natural resources and energy; information and communications technologies; and advanced manufacturing.
The Fund invests $1.5 billion to support Canada’s post-secondary institutions in their efforts to become global research leaders. Applications for the first competition will be due in March 2015. A second competition will be launched in 2016.
The CFREF complements the federal government’s existing suite of investments in research and innovation provided by prestigious programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, Banting Fellowships and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.
The CFREF was first announced in Budget 2014 by the Government of Canada to enable Canadian universities to achieve global leadership in specific fields of strength and to attract the talent required to maintain and improve Canadian research standing in the world. The fund is the result of Canada’s universities advocating for a strategic investment in excellence.
The University of Manitoba, a member of the U15 group of Canadian Research Universities, is the only research-intensive post-secondary institution in Manitoba. In 2013/14 the university attracted $155.6 million in sponsored research income, fifty per cent of which came from federal government agencies.