Feds announce $518 million in R&D funds

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The government of Canada has announced more than $518 million in research infrastructure funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The funding will support 102 state-of-the-art projects at 35 post-secondary institutions and research hospitals across the country – including healthcare I.T. projects.

“Investing in research is an investment in the future of Canada. Discoveries will lead to economic growth and will help solve the challenges the world faces today,” said Roseann O’Reilly Runte , president and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation. “These projects demonstrate the breadth and depth of Canadian expertise and excellence, and these awards are a tribute to the innovative researchers across the country.”

The announcement of funding was made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said the investment will help Canada remain at the forefront of exploration, innovation and discovery.

“Canada’s researchers and scientists are some of the brightest and most skilled in the world,” said Trudeau. “Today’s investments will ensure that they have what they need to help us build a Canada that is healthier, cleaner, and more competitive.”

Following the announcement, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, highlighted some of the funded projects, including the vaccine production effort.

Currently, there is no program within Canadian academia to help researchers gauge whether vaccine production and commercialization are realistic.

Moving vaccines developed by academia to the manufacturing and production stages is challenging and costly. A team of researchers from the CHU de Québec and Université Laval in Québec City, Que., aim to create a public vaccine production program to serve Canadians.

 

They will build a research platform to address these challenges by developing and testing vaccines, helping researchers launch start-up companies, and supporting existing start-ups.

“Great science and research is the first step in driving innovation. Now more than ever, Canadians are looking to their researchers to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems,” said Champagne. “The Government of Canada is proud to support today’s funding recipients, who are harnessing their expertise and dedication to make the important discoveries that will serve Canadians now and in the future.”

The total investment of $518,101,899 includes $118,111,261 for associated operating costs through the Infrastructure Operating Fund. Many of the funded projects demonstrate collaboration among research institutions. Of the 102 proposals, 49 (48 percent) include at least one collaborating institution.

The 2020 Innovation Fund competition is the first of its kind since Budget 2018 announced permanent funding for the CFI. The move to permanent funding will allow the CFI to hold Innovation Fund competitions approximately every two years. These regular competition intervals will allow institutions to plan strategically and to propose mature projects, while continuing to develop promising ones for future competitions.

Hospital based research projects included:

Sinai Health System
Probing the Molecular State of Rare Cell Phenotypes $5,830,254 A Center for Quantitative Ultrastructural Analyses
Collaborating / Partenaire: The Hospital for Sick Children $2,091,119
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Revealing the Functional and Molecular Mechanisms of Brain Disease with Better Imaging Tools $2,008,333
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Artificial Intelligence Platform for Precision Medicine $485,676
The Hospital for Sick Children
Advanced Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Program

Collaborating / Partenaire: Sinai Health System $2,845,545 Single Particle Cryo EM Analysis Project (SPaCEMAP)
Collaborating / Partenaire: University Health Network, University of Toronto, Sinai Health System $7,604,234 CGEn – A National Platform for Genome Sequencing and Analysis
Collaborating/Partenaire: University of British Columbia (The), McGill University $11,151,793 The Continuum of Protein Interactions in Health and Disease $1,678,236
McGill University
SecureData4Health
Collaborating / Partenaire: The Hospital for Sick Children, Sinai Health System , Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval $7 924 202

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