U15 universities welcome official opening of new research funding competition

MARKHAM, ON (December 4, 2014) - The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities applauds the official launch of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the Fund today, accompanied by Ed Holder, minister of state for science and technology, at an event attended by representatives from the post-secondary education sector and industry.

“Since its announcement in Budget 2014, The U15 has been looking forward to the official launch of CFREF as a significant commitment by Canada to support globally competitive research excellence,” said Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, chair of The U15 and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “This Fund will allow successful institutions to better compete on the international stage in established areas of research strength as well as new and emerging areas that will support Canada’s scientific standing and long-term economic advantage.”

In 2013, The U15 proposed that the government of Canada invest in the creation of a new fund to bolster Canada’s research strength and promote global research excellence. CFREF – the end result of that advocacy - will position Canada’s post-secondary institutions to compete with the best research universities in the world for leading scholars and students, and will generate breakthrough discoveries. 

“This commitment by the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada to support globally competitive research excellence with an investment of $1.5‑billion over 10 years demonstrates that they recognize that Canada can compete with the best in the world,” said Dr. Daniel Woolf, vice-chair of The U15 and principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University. “It’s now up to us to make sure that we make the most of it. Together with CFREF and other established funds and programs that support research excellence, we will strengthen and advance our standing as a world leader in science, technology and innovation.”

The U15 would also like to thank Members of Parliament Paul Calandra, John Carmichael and Joe Daniel for their participation at today's announcement of CFREF and the updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. 

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