National Research Council of Canada launches new research program focusing on improving quality of life for Northerners
Support will enable people in the Arctic and the North to lead on applied research on issues of importance to the region.
March 2, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada
Today, the Honourable François‑Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the launch of the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Arctic and Northern Challenge program.
With an initial investment of over $20 million to fund research projects over the next 7 years, the program is committed to prioritizing Northern-led research projects that have a strong focus on Northern capacity building.
The program will address pressing issues in the areas of housing, health, food and water as identified and prioritized by Northerners through comprehensive engagement. Through collaboration, the program will also deepen the NRC's competencies and technical capabilities to support joint research in an Arctic and Northern context and work to advance aspects of Canada's Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.
The collaboration, feedback, input and involvement of Indigenous rights holders and Northern communities in developing the research program has been fundamental in creating a program that will support strong and sustainable Northern communities.
"Our government is proud to support the NRC's Arctic and Northern Challenge program. This program will provide much-needed solutions to address the unique realities of Canada's Arctic and Northern communities. It is through programs like these that we are able to see the benefits of applied technology and innovation and how they can help build stronger and more sustainable communities for future generations."
— The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
"The Arctic and Northern Challenge program is an opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change in the lives of Northerners. The four key themes—health, housing, food and water—affect everyone living in the North and Arctic, and innovations in those areas, led by Northerners, will make a real difference in closing the many gaps that exist in the North and improving quality of life."
— The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
"The NRC's Arctic and Northern research program was developed following extensive engagement and consultation with Northerners to ensure it was aligned with their needs and priorities. The program will bring together innovative minds from across the country, and the North in particular, to improve the daily lives of people in the Arctic and the North through technology and innovation. I look forward to the impact it will have in Northern Canada."
— Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada
The Arctic and Northern research program has been built upon extensive engagement with Northerners and organizations, including nearly 1,000 invitations to participate in 3 different engagement phases (thematic focus groups, online survey, technical sessions) and over 20 formal engagement sessions
The vision for the Arctic and Northern research program is that, guided by Northerners, the daily lives of people in the Arctic and the North are improved through technology and innovation
The first call for proposals will open in March 2022 and will be accessible through the NRC's website
Northern applicants will be prioritized to design, implement and lead research projects that address 1 or more of the themes of housing, health, food and water
Successful applications will be supported by technical experts and established research leaders from the NRC
The program is designed to support projects from multiple disciplines of research including environmental, social, cultural, health, design, construction and engineering
This program is being delivered under the NRC's Collaborative Science, Technology and Innovation suite of programs whereby the NRC receives $36 million per year to support researchers and innovation partners in developing, testing and validating transformative research ideas
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
National Research Council of Canada
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