Government of Canada invests in cutting-edge research and the next generation of scientists

News release

$171.6 million in funding will go to 5 science and research organizations across Ottawa

May 26, 2024             Ottawa, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s scientists and researchers are working to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges for the benefit of us all. Their innovations and discoveries are the foundation of Canadian economic growth and prosperity, as well as the health and well-being of people in Canada. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make investments to boost research and innovation and ensure Canada remains a leader in research and new technologies.

Today, the Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, highlighted up to $171.6 million in funding for third-party science and research organizations through the Strategic Science Fund. The funding will support 5 organizations in Ottawa, as announced in December 2023, and was awarded through a new competitive, merit-based and transparent process, informed by the advice of an independent expert review panel. The organizations include:

  • Actua – up to $38.4 million
  • ArcticNet Inc. – up to $32.5 million
  • BioCanRx – up to $38 million
  • Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) – up to $14.2 million
  • Stem Cell Network (SCN) – up to $48.5 million

These organizations span Canada’s science and research landscape and are making contributions in a range of crucial areas, including researching and developing health care solutions, supporting Indigenous inclusion and research, addressing climate change, supporting Arctic science and research, making advancements in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, promoting STEM education among young people, and facilitating learning and training opportunities for post-secondary students.


“The Government of Canada is proud to be investing in science and research organizations that play a vital role in Canada’s research ecosystem. The government’s ongoing support for science and research, including through the Strategic Science Fund, is helping to cement Canada’s position as a world leader in innovation, and will ensure a better quality of life for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Science and research are the cornerstones of Canada’s economic well-being and progress. Canada’s researchers work to expand our understanding of the world, and they generate new ideas to solve some of the biggest challenges of our time. With this investment through the Strategic Science Fund, the Government of Canada is continuing its support for world-class, cutting-edge research and for those who work to inspire and train the next generation.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“By investing in health organizations through the Strategic Science Fund, we are advancing Canadian research and knowledge that will improve health outcomes across the country. This funding supports innovative medical treatments, advanced biotechnological applications, genomic science, regenerative medicine, and research into cancer and brain health. By deepening our understanding of health challenges and supporting science-based solutions, we are investing in the well-being of people in Canada.”
– The Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“This investment will allow us to harness our home-grown expertise in diverse fields of research such as cancer and STEM cell technology, climate change, and artificial intelligence. Developments in these fields are critical to improving the quality of life of all Canadians, while also bringing in over $171 million to research and development right here in Ottawa. We are proud to support Canadian leaders in their fields knowing that their work is an integral part of the health and prosperity of our communities and our country.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, Member of parliament for Ottawa-Vanier

“Successful scientific innovation and discovery requires a sustained and ongoing commitment in support of those on the front lines of research. Successive federal budgets have strengthened and enhanced that commitment and with today’s funding announcement through the Strategic Science Fund, our continuing commitment is further demonstrated. Our world class Canadian researchers require a nimbleness that will allow them to address the health care challenges of the modern world. The funds awarded today to the five organizations here in Ottawa will go a long way toward achieving the goal of improving the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of today’s research to meet tomorrow's challenges.”
– The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Member of parliament for Ottawa Center. 

“Today's investment reaffirms our commitment to advancing Canadian innovation and supporting our brightest minds, right here in the National Capital Region. By empowering our scientists and researchers, we are driving economic growth, improving health outcomes, and positioning Ottawa as a leader in cutting-edge research. This ensures a brighter future not only for Ottawa but for all Canadians for generations to come.”
– The Honourable David McGuinty, Member of parliament for Ottawa South

“We are absolutely thrilled and so grateful for the support to continue our fundamental work in research and science in Canada’s Arctic. As a nation with the second largest Arctic land mass and largest Arctic coastline in the world it is paramount that we as Canadians are leaders in Arctic science and this investment can help ensure this now and into the future. The climate is warming at four times the rate of the global average in the Arctic regions and the world of the future will not be the same as the world as we know it now – unless we invest in discovery based science in key regions such as the Arctic. We are also proud of our Canadian approach to science in the Arctic which involved working in partnership with Inuit organizations and communities  where we equally value science and Inuit knowledge”.
- Jackie Dawson, Scientific Director, Network of Centres of Excellence, ArcticNet

"Hosted by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, BioCanRx unites researchers and other stakeholders across Canada to advance immunotherapy, and turn all cancers into curable diseases. Today's funding announcement marks a significant step forward in the fight against cancer, both nationwide and in Ottawa, where our work has already benefited patients like Camille Leahy, whose acute leukemia is now in remission thanks to a local clinical trial. We look forward to continuing our work with researchers, clinicians, and patients in Ottawa and in cities across the country to develop immunotherapy treatments to benefit all Canadians."
– Dr. Stéphanie Michaud, President and CEO, BioCanRx.

“We are grateful for this federal investment in Actua’s work to develop the early stages of Canada’s talent pipeline. This significant support recognizes the critical importance of youth engagement in STEM, along with continued priority on removing barriers and building inclusivity.”
– Jennifer Flanagan, CEO, Actua.

“On behalf of Canada’s Stem Cell Network I would like to extend our thanks to the Government of Canada for its ongoing support and continued funding.  SCN is committed to transforming lives through regenerative medicine research, and as a pan-Canadian community of researchers, clinicians, scholars and next generation talent we will work with our partners to deliver the innovative cell and gene therapies that Canadians expect and deserve.” 
– Cate Murray, President & CEO Stem Cell Network

“We are thrilled to be part of the SSF family and this collaborative approach to advancing Canada’s science and innovation culture. CASC is Canada’s largest national network of public science engagement organizations. Our members are beloved and trusted sources for science information, and they engage tens of millions of people across the country every year. This funding signals the tremendous value of the work that they do, and the essential role that CASC plays in bridging research, science, and society.”
– Dr. Marianne Mader, CEO of the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC).

Quick facts

  • This announcement is apart of more than $800 million in funding that will go to 24 science and research organizations across Canada.

  • The creation of the Strategic Science Fund (SSF) was announced in Budget 2019 as a way to make federal investments in third-party science and research more effective by assessing applicants using a framework of principles for allocating federal funding.

  • Since 2016, the government has provided more than $16 billion to support science and research.

  • In addition, Budget 2024 provides $825 million to increase support for master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students, as well as $1.8 billion to the federal granting councils to increase core research grant funding and support Canadian researchers.

  • Budget 2024 also includes investments in modern, high-quality research facilities and infrastructure to help solve real-world problems, create economic opportunities, and attract and train the next generation of scientific talent.

  • The next call for applications to the SSF is scheduled to take place in 2026–2027. Funding from the current competition will be disbursed from April 2024 to March 2029, pending finalization of contribution agreements.

Associated links


Geneviève Lemaire
Press Secretary
Office of Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office 
Employment and Social Development Canada 
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Audrey Millette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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