Canada Foundation For Innovation Establishes $10 Million Fund For Research Infrastructure In Colleges

June 9, 1998

OTTAWA, June 9, 1998 - Dr. David W. Strangway, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today announced the establishment of a $10 million fund designed to help Canadian colleges, institutes and affiliated research centres develop and strengthen their research infrastructure. 

The College Research Development Fund, which was approved at the May 26, 1998, meeting of the CFI Board of Directors, is being established following extensive consultation with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). Under this new funding mechanism, it will be possible for colleges to submit proposals for projects totalling less than $2 million in eligible costs - with a maximum contribution of $800,000 from the CFI. The deadline for proposals under this funding mechanism is March 1, 1999. 

"This new fund complements the CFI's existing mechanisms. Like other institutions applying for funding from the CFI, Canadian colleges will have to define their own priorities, talk to other research institutions, and look for potential partners," said Dr. Strangway. "It creates another area of intervention where we can help strengthen Canada's transition to an innovative society." 

Mr. Gerald Brown, President of the ACCC says his members welcome the CFI's decision to establish a competitive research fund suited to colleges. 

"Colleges and institutes are actively engaged in responding to the research and development needs of Canada's private sector, and we are committed to working with our partners in industry and government in order to ensure that the College Research and Development Fund will succeed in achieving its goals." 

The first step for colleges, institutes, and affiliated research centres will be to establish their eligibility to apply. The complete list of eligibility criteria is available in Appendix 1, "Guidelines for Accepting Eligible Recipients" of the CFI publication, Policy and Program Guide. Once they have established their eligibility, colleges will be invited to submit their proposals to the CFI. Project proposals will be assessed against the CFI's three basic criteria:

  • quality of research and suitability of the infrastructure;
  • contributions to strengthening the capacity for innovation; and
  • the potential benefits of the research to Canada.

A multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be set up to review project proposals under the new fund. The ACCC will be invited to suggest potential committee members from Canada and abroad. Colleges that have been successful in the CFI's other funding competitions - the Institutional Innovation Fund or the Regional/National Facilities - will not be eligible for the new College Research Development Fund. 

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established in May 1997 with a contribution of $800 million from the Government of Canada. The Foundation's mandate is to invest in infrastructure for research and development in Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals, and other not-for-profit research institutions. The Foundation's investments will be made in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors as well as with all levels of government. Through these partnerships, the CFI has the potential to trigger about $2 billion in investment in research infrastructure.