Canada First Research Excellence Fund


Speaking Points

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, PC, MP
Minister of Science

Waterloo, Ontario

September 6, 2016

Check Against Delivery

Good morning.

Thank you to my friend and colleague Minister Chagger for your kind words.

I would like to congratulate you on everything you do for the people of Waterloo.

Let me also acknowledge:

  • Brent Herbert-Copley, Executive Vice-President of SSHRC;
  • Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo—thank you for hosting us today;
  • Dr. David Cory, along with the entire team of researchers, staff and students at the Institute for Quantum Computing who will benefit from today's announcement; and
  • Mike Lazaridis, whose generous contributions continue to support incredible science at this university.

You all have my utmost respect and profound gratitude. Thank you.

I am delighted to be back at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, a place that is at the epicentre of the quantum revolution worldwide.

I want to assure you that our government values the role that science and our scientists play in society.

Research provides us with the evidence we need to make sound policy decisions—decisions that will influence everything from our health and environment to our economy and our oceans.

Our government's decisions have one common goal: to build a stronger, healthier, vibrant middle class.

By investing in science, our government is investing in outcomes that will affect society today and for many years to come.

On that note, it gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of the second round of funding under the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a flagship program designed to boost those key research areas in which Canada can lead.

Our government is investing $900 million in 13 research projects at universities across the country.

This investment will support research excellence in areas such as brain health; food safety and security; mining and sustainable energy; ocean and fresh water science; and, of course, quantum computing.

Here at the University of Waterloo, we are investing more than $76 million through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which will allow the university to expand its quantum program.

In addition to recruiting new faculty, the university will be able to build new labs, work with new industry partners and educate new generations of students, many of whom are starting university today.

Waterloo is already a world leader in quantum research through the Institute for Quantum Computing, and I'm so pleased that its director, Dr. Raymond Laflamme, has joined us to mark this significant event.

In a few moments, we will hear from Dr. David Cory, Deputy Director of IQC, about the University of Waterloo's Transformative Quantum Technologies project.

Dr. Cory and his team will be working on technologies that will allow us to:

  • build sensors so sensitive they can detect a single molecule,
  • design new drugs and medical therapies, and
  • model new materials for renewable energy production and power transmission.

The results of this research, in other words, will truly be transformative.

With the help of today's investment, Dr. Cory and his entire team will be able to invite other incredibly talented people along.

We have the privilege of being joined by one of those people today: Dr. Jelena Murkovic.

Dr. Murkovic is an accomplished pathologist and will be working with the IQC team to develop quantum tools to diagnose and characterize cancer in real time.

This important work will one day save lives.

Congratulations to you, to Dr. Cory, to IQC, and to all the researchers, students, university staff and academic leaders across the country who are benefiting from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

I am deeply humbled by all that you have accomplished and look forward to learning all about your future discoveries.

I wish you much success in your scientific endeavours.

Thank you.

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