Feds launching $144M fund to support research in Canada

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

CTV Windsor



The federal government says a $144-million fund is bringing new perspectives and approaches to supporting high-risk, interdisciplinary and transformative research.

Officials say as research changes, the government must also change how to support it and consult with world-class researchers.

Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan has announced the next phase of the New Frontiers in Research Fund -- the community consultations for the transformation stream.

"To ensure we are supporting the research community, we are giving them a voice and the opportunity to help shape new competitions, so they will be better equipped to discover, innovate and improve the lives of Canadians," said Duncan while in Windsor on Wednesday.

To be launched in October, this competition stream will support large-scale, Canadian-led interdisciplinary research projects that have the potential to bring about real and lasting change.

"New research approaches will translate into solutions and breakthroughs to global challenges, and Canadian researchers will be able to position themselves as leaders in interdisciplinary and innovative research that ultimately leads to transformative results," said Ted Hewitt, chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee and president of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The news is being welcomed by University of Windsor cancer researcher Dr. Lisa Porter.

‘There’s those big, cutting-edge problems, right? For us, cancer, but also climate change, how are we going to solve those problems?” said Porter. “It’s by doing things differently and thinking differently, and thinking outside of the box.”

The 2019 competition that will take place following community consultations will see an investment of $144 million over six years, with individual awards of up to $4 million per year.

Researchers and institutions are invited to provide feedback on the Transformation stream framework by Aug. 1, 2019.

The minister launched the 2019 Exploration competition earlier this year. While that competition was only open to early career researchers, the Transformation stream will be open to all researchers.

Duncan was also on hand for the official opening of the $30 million Essex CORe, a new 46,000 square foot facility that houses three floors of state-of-the-labs to conduct research.

The facility cost more $30 million to build.

The federal government contributed $15 million while the province kicked in $2.5 million and the school covered the final $12.8 million of the cost.