Government of Canada establishes a new research hub at the University of Ottawa to accelerate Canada’s vaccine and therapeutics production

News release

This research hub will further strengthen Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector while protecting Canadians against future health threats

March 6, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada’s main priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of Canadians. Throughout the pandemic, the quick and decisive actions taken by the government meant that Canada was able to scale up domestic biomanufacturing capacity, which had been in decline for over 40 years. The government is rebuilding a strong and competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector brick by brick. This includes strengthening the foundations of the life sciences ecosystem through the research and talent of Canada’s world-class post-secondary institutions and research hospitals, as well as fostering increased collaboration with innovative companies.

Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, highlighted an investment of $2 million to create the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub. This support is part of a $10 million investment announced by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, on March 2 for the creation of five research hubs as part of Stage 1 of the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) competition.

The Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub is being led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University. It will catalyze research and biomanufacturing innovations to help Canada produce vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics ahead of future pandemics. This multidisciplinary research hub will accelerate research and development of next-generation vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, while supporting training and development to expand the pipeline of skilled talent. It will also accelerate the translation of promising research into commercially viable products and processes.

This investment will help strengthen the resilience of Canada’s life sciences sector by supporting leading Canadian research in innovative technologies that keep us safe and boost our economy.


“To continue to protect Canadians and to build a resilient biomanufacturing ecosystem, our government is taking every action possible to be equipped with the best tools. We’re proud to foster the research needed to produce cutting-edge discoveries and products in our very own labs, which will help us build a stronger, more robust life sciences sector that responds to the needs of Canadians for decades to come.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The health and safety of everyone in Canada is a top priority for our government. To modernize and advance work in the areas of vaccines and therapeutics, we must continue to invest in health research—that is what these hubs will help us achieve. Together, with experts, provinces and territories, and other partners, we will keep strengthening our preparedness for possible future pandemics.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

“To accelerate life sciences discoveries and make sure that the health of Canadians is thoroughly protected, we must collaborate and leverage the expertise of multiple sectors. Multidisciplinary research hubs like this one in the National Capital Region, co-led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, will foster collaboration between academia, industry and the community to strengthen Canada’s talent pipeline and ensure the well-being of people and communities.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board

“We are very eager to actively contribute to this groundbreaking national effort to grow a strong and competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector. The ultimate goal is to make Canada a global leader in emerging vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, enhancing the national capacity to prevent and respond to future pandemics.” 
– Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, Research and Innovation at the University of Ottawa

Quick facts

  • Details on the five research hubs:

    • The CBRF PRAIRIE Hub: Protecting Canada by Building on Excellence in Pandemic Preparedness. Led by the University of Alberta. Accelerating the development and commercialization of vaccine, antiviral and diagnostic countermeasures for potential pandemic pathogens.
    • Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub: Engineering Immunity for Pandemic Response. Led by the University of British Columbia. Helping develop next-generation immune-based therapeutics in response to pandemics that can be manufactured domestically using the latest innovations in biomanufacturing.
    • Eastern Canada Preparedness Hub (ECaPH). Led by the Université de Montréal. Increasing the agility, connectivity and growth of the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to ensure that Canada is prepared for future pandemics and public health crises.
    • Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H). Led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University). Catalyzing research and biomanufacturing innovations to help Canada produce vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics ahead of future pandemics.
    • Canadian Hub for Health Intelligence & Innovation in Infectious Diseases (HI3). Led by the University of Toronto. Advancing the concept of ‘personalized and precise medicine’ to influence the development of vaccines, therapeutics and other public health interventions.
  • A research hub is a coalition of research and research-training actors, coordinated by an eligible post-secondary or health research institution that serves as an anchor for the hub. Hubs must be multidisciplinary in nature and have partners across a variety of sectors working towards common objectives to advance pandemic readiness and response initiatives.

  • The selection of the research hubs and the funding available through the integrated CBRF-BRIF will advance the Government of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy by strengthening the research capacity of Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences ecosystem.

  • These new pan-Canadian research hubs were selected through a two-step competitive review process that assessed the scientific merit and strategic alignment of the hub proposals with the strategy.

  • The strategy includes multiple foundational investments to help build Canada’s talent pipeline and research systems, as well as foster the growth of Canada’s life sciences firms. Investments include the:

    • Canada Biomedical Research Fund: $250 million to create a program to support high-risk, applied research, training and talent development partnership projects. Administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
    • Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund: $500 million to support the biosciences infrastructure needs of postsecondary institutions and affiliated research hospitals. This fund is administered by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • Over the last two years, the federal government has committed more than $1.8 billion to 33 projects in biomanufacturing, vaccines and therapeutics.

Associated links


Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the President
Treasury Board of Canada

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat

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