Canadian government dedicates $900 million to helping universities become world-leading research centres

At the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing yesterday, Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced a $900 million total investment in 13 postsecondary institutions across Canada.

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will strategically invest in key research strengths in each postsecondary institution. “Today’s investment by the Government of Canada enables our leading post-secondary research institutions to capitalize on areas in which they excel,” said Dr. Ted Hewitt, the chair of CFREF’s steering committee. “It promises to make them world leaders in these areas and to strengthen Canada’s position as the destination of choice for innovation and cutting-edge research.”

The Université de Montréal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, and HEC Montréal will receive $213 million split between three projects related to research in artificial intelligence, brain health, and medical technologies. Polytechnique Montréal will leverage its hospital’s infrastructure to shape future medical technologies for complex diseases, and McGill’s Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives project will establish a central hub to work on projects to improve brain health in Canada.

“Our capacity for breakthroughs in treatment of brain disorders and our ability to improve lives will be heightened significantly by this important new funding,” said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, the principal and vice-chancellor at McGill.

Ten other universities are being funded for initiatives that address emerging areas of research, including Dalhousie University, which is receiving $93 million for its Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier to develop Canada’s oceans. The University of Waterloo will receive $72 million for Transform Quantum Technologies, an initiative for advancing its work in developing quantum technologies.

Duncan says that funding large, innovative projects hosted Canada’s post-secondary research institutions will help Canada respond to future challenges. “The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will equip Canada to respond to some of the most pressing issues it will face in the future: brain health, sustainable food and water supplies, environmental concerns, future energy supplies. The research supported through this Fund will make the country stronger,” Duncan said.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.