CFI Awards Over $17.7 million in New Opportunities Funding to Promising Canadian Researchers

March 4, 2003
Halifax, March 4, 2003 — Today, Carmen Charette, Senior Vice-President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) was joined by Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, to announce over $17.7 million in New Opportunities awards to 97 of the nation's emerging research leaders at 26 Canadian universities.

“The New Opportunities Fund is having a major impact on Canada's research institutions,” said Ms. Charette. “It’s helping to preserve and bolster Canada’s most important resource of the new millennium—our intellectual capital.”

The New Opportunities Fund enables eligible universities to provide world-class infrastructure for newly-recruited faculty members to undertake leading-edge research in their first full-time academic appointment. To date, the New Opportunities Fund has launched the careers of well over 1600 new faculty researchers at universities across the country.

“Today’s investment will enable these top-quality researchers to contribute to Canada’s objective of becoming one of the top innovative countries in R&D by 2010,” said Minister Rock. “Increasing our innovative capacity will result in greater economic and social benefits to Canadians.”

“The New Opportunities Fund is helping to attract and retain the best and brightest researchers to Canadian institutions,” said Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development).

 “Providing them with state-of-the-art infrastructure will help Canada stay at the forefront of the global knowledge-based economy.”

The $17.7 million CFI investment is being awarded through two funds: $13.7 million under the New Opportunities Fund, and a further $4 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund to help universities with related operating and maintenance costs. Unlike other CFI programs, the Infrastructure Operating Fund has no requirement for matching funds. The projects were selected on the recommendation of experts who thoroughly assessed each project against the three CFI criteria: 

  • Quality of research and the need for infrastructure;
  • Contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation;
  • Potential benefits of the research to Canada.

Some examples of exciting research receiving funding across the country are:  

  • Concordia University—a laboratory to study aspects of the global organic carbon cycle in the marine environment;  
  • Trent University—a facility to study gene expression and DNA profiling applications in environmental and cancer research;  
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland—equipment to study cellular signaling mechanisms in growth, development, and disease;  
  • University of Calgary—electrophysiology and laser stimulation system for assessing the synaptic regulation of the stress response.

A list of the projects approved by the CFI to date, and a listing of the approved funding for this announcement, are available here.

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to strengthen the capacity for innovation in Canadian universities and research institutions.

For more information:    

Douglas Lauriault 
Canada Foundation for Innovation
(613) 996-3193
cell: (613) 447-1723
Selena Beattie
Office of Allan Rock 
Minister of Industry 
(613) 995-9001
Daphne Guerrero
Office of Dr. Rey Pagtakhan
Minister of Veterans Affairs and 
Secretary of State
(Science, Research & Development)
(613) 995-1333

Canada Foundation for Innovation / 
Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation

New Opportunities Fund / Fonds de relève


 - Alberta
 - British Columbia / Colombie-Britannique
 - Manitoba
 - Newfoundland and Labrador / Terre-Neuve et Labrador
 - Nova Scotia / Nouvelle-Écosse
 - Ontario
 - Prince Edward Island / Île-du-Prince-Édouard
 - Quebec / Québec
 - Saskatchewan    

Institution / Établissement Projects Approved /
Projets appuyés
Carleton University 2
Concordia University 6
Dalhousie University 8
King’s University College (The) 1
McGill University 1
McMaster University 3
Memorial University of Newfoundland 2
Queen’s University 3
Ryerson University 2
Simon Fraser University 2
Trent University 2
Université Laval 4
Université de Montréal 3
Université du Québec à Rimouski 1
University of Alberta 3
University of British Columbia 1
University of Calgary 4
University of Guelph 2
University of Manitoba 1
University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa 3
University of Prince Edward Island 1
University of Saskatchewan 2
University of Toronto 10
University of Victoria 1
University of Waterloo 1
University of Western Ontario 3
Total of 26 universities/des 26 universités 72