Minister Sohi announces $75 million to transform university research at the University of Alberta

News Release

Significant funding for landmark initiatives through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund

September 6, 2016 – Edmonton, Alberta – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada values the critical role the nation's post-secondary institutions play in attracting world-class researchers, catalyzing discoveries that improve our health and environment, and contributing to an innovative economy that leads to more opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

To underscore this commitment, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, celebrated $75 million in funding for the Future Energy Systems Research Institute at the University of Alberta. The funding is part of a landmark investment of $900 million in 13 post-secondary institutions through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The Fund strategically invests in areas where Canada's post-secondary research institutions have the key research strengths to become global leaders.

The Future Energy Systems Research Institute will set out a path to the responsible development and use of Canada's multi-trillion-dollar energy resources, while facilitating a smooth transition to a lower-carbon energy economy. It will build a new energy future for Canada, propelling the country to world leadership in energy technology development and use.

The 12 other initiatives funded today focus on developing areas of similar competitive advantage. They include sustainably developing our oceans; developing next-generation medical technologies; increasing the capacity, sustainability and safety of our food production systems; and improving human brain health.

The initiatives were selected for funding following an open competitive process among Canadian post-secondary institutions. The competition was judged by a panel of Canadian and international scientific experts.

Information about each of the 13 funded initiatives is available at www.cfref-apogee.gc.ca.

Quotes

"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 and future energy supplies. The research supported through the Fund will make the country stronger."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"Today's investment by the Government of Canada enables our leading post-secondary research institutions to capitalize on areas in which they excel. Indeed, 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."

– Dr. Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair, Canada First Research Excellence Fund Steering Committee

"Today's investment from the Government of Canada gives post-secondary institutions the means to strategically advance their greatest research strengths on the global stage: their talented and innovative researchers. The University of Alberta's Future Energy Systems Research Institute will help to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to producing, transporting and using energy."

– The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"I thank the Government of Canada for its historical investment in the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. This funding marks a major step forward for Canada and for our collective ability to provide global leadership in response to a diverse set of grand challenges. At the University of Alberta, today's $75 million investment in our new Future Energy Systems Research Institute pushes Canadian energy and environment research onto a new level. We will build on our broad historic strengths in these areas and spearhead provincial, national and international research partnerships and projects that envision and deliver solutions to the world's most urgent energy challenges—reducing the environmental footprint of today's energy system and making the transition to a cleaner, safer and more abundant low-carbon energy future."

– Dr. David H. Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

Quick facts

  • This is the second Canada First Research Excellence Fund competition. In July 2015, five initiatives received a total of $350 million in funding.
  • A total of $900 million is being awarded to 13 projects, with the largest single award of $93,732,000 going to Dalhousie University for its Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier initiative.
  • The Fund is administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, on behalf of the three federal granting agencies, which include the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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Associated links

Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

For further information, please contact:

Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
343-291-2600

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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