Minister Sajjan announces funding for Simon Fraser University and highlights government’s plan to build an economy that works for everyone

News release

A technician wearing personal protective equipment works at a computer. Text reads: Minister Sajjan announces funding for Simon Fraser University and highlights government’s plan to build an economy that works for everyone

November 7, 2022 – Burnaby, British Columbia – Pacific Economic Development Canada

In the recent 2022 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada highlighted its plan to continue its sound stewardship of the economy and to be there for Canadians. To help families cope with increasing costs, like rising prices at the checkout counter, the government is delivering targeted support to the Canadians who need it the most, including by: doubling the GST Credit for 11 million eligible Canadians; enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit to support 4.2 million Canadians; and making federal student and apprentice loans permanently interest free for the graduates of today and tomorrow.

Today the Honourable Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Mr. Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North-Seymour, announced $599,000 to support capacity at SFU’s Big Data Hub. The government’s investment in The Hub at Simon Fraser University (SFU) will increase the capacity of the Supercomputer Cedar, create an online consulting space to facilitate in-person and remote data-related consulting services, acquire 12 high-performance computers for the Hub’s computing lab, and hire staff to support industry engagement efforts. These program activities will help Small and Medium Sized BC Businesses increase productivity and remain competitive.

Minister Sajjan and Mr. Beech also announced $2,046,760 in funding for 4D LABS to support the late-stage testing and demonstration of innovative clean technologies through the establishment of the Centre for Environmental and Food Analysis (CEFA). The CEFA will support industry to commercialize clean technologies, and municipalities and Indigenous communities to adopt and utilize clean technologies. The government’s investment will help SFU install an operate a suite of equipment like environmental electron microscope, X-ray characterization equipment, particle size analyzer, as well as related facility renovations and upgrades.

At Simon Fraser University, Minister Sajjan and Mr. Beech met with researchers and students to highlight the government’s plan to permanently eliminate interest on federal student and apprentice loans and invest in tax credits for clean technologies and clean hydrogen that will help create good jobs and make Canada a leader in the net-zero transition.


“Universities, like Simon Fraser University, are often the birthplace of ideas, such as innovations that leverage the power of clean technology. The Government’s support for the Centre for Environmental and Food Analysis (CEFA) will support the local clean technology ecosystem and help municipalities and Indigenous communities adopt green technologies.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Today’s investment in local innovation and research will have a profound and lasting effect on the future of Canada. Supporting environmentally friendly initiatives will build our economy while creating high-skilled, well paying jobs. The government is committed to making Canada a world leader in sustainable innovation, science and technology. We look forward to the continued partnership and success of Simon Fraser University.”
- Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour

“Simon Fraser University is grateful for the generous support of 4D LABS and the Big Data Hub—two of our core facilities. The new Centre for Environmental and Food Analysis will train researchers with valuable skills for the agritech, clean tech and clean resources sectors, while expansion of our big data capacities will serve the growing Canadian research community. We are excited to further collaborations and make advancements in these innovative fields where SFU and Canada have demonstrated leadership.”
- Dugan O'Neil, Vice-President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is investing $2,645,760 through its Regional Innovation Ecosystem program. This program aims to grow and nurture priority sectors across British Columbia, building an inclusive ecosystem that allows those sectors to innovate and compete globally.

  • Projects funded through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem program must support at least one priority sector, such as life sciences, clean technology, or agriculture. Additionally, these projects must support the hiring and training of under-represented groups, including Indigenous peoples, women, and youth.

  • PacifiCan is the Government of Canada’s regional development agency dedicated to British Columbia. PacifiCan promotes growth and diversification in British Columbia’s economy by enhancing innovation, improving business competitiveness, and promoting inclusive growth.

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Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development

Ben Letts
Senior Communications Advisor
Pacific Economic Development Canada

Braden McMillan
Director, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Simon Fraser University

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