Government of Canada support for science essential for a sustainable economy

News Release

April 11, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canada has the potential to be a global leader when it comes to research and innovation. To achieve this goal, Budget 2016 supports Canada's scientists by giving them the help they need to expand the country's research excellence, leading to clean economic growth and well-paying jobs for the middle class.

During a keynote address at the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Summit at the University of Ottawa, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, pointed to the recent Budget 2016 announcement of an additional $95 million for the granting councils to support discovery research as evidence of the Government's strong commitment to all sciences — the natural and health sciences to the social sciences and humanities. This is the highest amount of new annual funding for this purpose in over a decade.

The Minister also outlined how the Government's investments in post-secondary research are essential to keeping Canada on the path to a sustainable future. Federal funding through the three granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research—helps researchers develop new technologies and approaches that are vital to an innovative economy.

Moreover, Budget 2016 commits an additional $20 million to two new CERCs in fields related to clean and sustainable technology. This new funding is part of the Government's vision of building Canada as a centre of global innovation renowned for its science, technology, creativity and entrepreneurial citizens and for its globally competitive companies.


"The Government of Canada is proud to invest in the federal granting councils, which play a central role in supporting researchers, who in turn generate the evidence needed to make sound policy decisions. Granting council funding programs, including the prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chairs program, are cultivating the research talent we need to build an innovative and clean economy."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"The Government of Canada's commitment to social sciences and humanities research will support the country's innovation agenda, which relies not only on technology but also on human creativity and understanding. Our researchers provide insight into the complex individual, social, cultural and economic issues surrounding technology so that Canadians can embrace it and become early adopters."

– Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Chair, CERC Steering Committee

"NSERC is unique in Canada's research and innovation ecosystem, as it invests substantially in both discovery-driven academic research and collaborative research with industry partners. We are grateful for new investments in discovery research that will build the necessary foundation for innovation and economic growth. These discoveries arise because researchers have the freedom to explore the frontiers of knowledge and probe the unexplained and unexpected."

– Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

"CIHR greatly appreciates the Government of Canada's firm commitment to supporting excellence in research and innovation. The Canada Excellence Research Chairs are a magnet for attracting early career investigators and graduate students in areas of vital importance to the social and economic future of the country."

– Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"The Canada Foundation for Innovation applauds the investments made by the Government of Canada in support of discovery-based research. Through its investments in state-of-the-art research infrastructure, the CFI supports world-class research and helps attract the best researchers in the world to Canada. The Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program is a clear example of how research infrastructure can act as a magnet for top talent."

– Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

"These new investments in science reflect the vital role of universities in positioning Canada as a world leader in research and innovation. New funding for the federal granting councils and the CERC program significantly boost the ability of universities across the country to attract top talent and lead the world in priority areas, including clean and sustainable technology.‎"

– Paul Davidson, President, Universities Canada

"The Government of Canada's significant investments in strategic campus infrastructure and in the granting councils will ensure that Canadian universities excel as world-class research sites. They will be well-equipped to build the smart, sustainable and innovative society that will position Canada to meet future global challenges."

‎– Suzanne Corbeil, Executive Director, U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

Quick facts

  • The three federal granting councils are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The councils are key players within the scientific research ecosystem, funding research and talent development at post-secondary institutions.
  • Budget 2016 proposes to invest an additional $95 million in the three federal granting councils:
    • $30 million for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research;
    • $30 million for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council;
    • $16 million for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and
    • $19 million for the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs borne by post-secondary institutions in undertaking federally sponsored research.
  • Launched in 2008, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program supports Canadian universities in their efforts to build on Canada's growing reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. It awards institutions up to $10 million over seven years to support world-renowned researchers and their teams in establishing ambitious research programs in areas of strategic importance for Canada.
  • The Canadian Excellence Research Chairs Summit brings together the chairholders from across Canada to share their most recent research advances with the greater public. The theme of this year's summit is Science and Society.

Associated links


Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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