Budget 2016: A Strong Commitment to Scientific Research

OTTAWA, ON March 22, 2016 — The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities welcomes Budget 2016, which Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced in the House of Commons today.

The federal government’s substantial investment in research and development will ensure Canadian universities excel as world-class research and training sites, as we build the smart, innovative economy that will position Canada to meet future global challenges.

We are particularly pleased by the government’s $2 billion investment over three years in a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. This Fund will provide up to half the cost of infrastructure projects that modernize research and commercialization facilities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environmental sustainability of buildings at post-secondary institutions.

The new Fund will make sure Canadian students learn in cutting-edge facilities, where researchers perform transformative, original research that leads the economy of the future. This substantial investment, in partnership with the provinces/territories, will also provide high-quality jobs right away, boosting economic growth while fostering long-term advantages for Canada.

Budget 2016 invests in high-quality scientific research via $95 million per year in additional funding to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), known collectively as the Tri-Council. This injection of new money is a vote of confidence in the critical foundation that the granting councils supply for transformative, discovery-based research. These annual investments also include critical resources for the Research Support Fund, which funds indirect costs of undertaking research.

“We applaud the federal government’s support for post-secondary education,” says U15 Chair Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “These investments will strengthen Canada’s capacity for ground-breaking research, help us to attract and retain top talent, build strong research clusters and foster the culture of innovation Canada needs to prosper in the globally competitive research environment.”

 

The U15 also welcomes the federal government’s changes to the Canada Student Loans Program and the program’s Repayment Assistance Plan to make post-secondary education more accessible to all students.

Budget 2016 also supports the post-secondary education and research sector by providing:

·        $237 million to support Genome Canada;

·        $73 million over four years for the Post-Secondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative for new co-op placements and partnerships among employers and universities;

·        $50 million over five years to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics;

·        up to $20 million over three years to the Brain Canada Foundation’s Canada Brain Research Fund supporting collaborative, multi-disciplinary brain disorder research;

·        $14 million over two years to the Mitacs Globalink program to support 825 internships and fellowships that help universities attract top international students and assist Canadian students in training opportunities abroad; and

·        up to $12 million over two years to the Stem Cell Network to translate stem cell research into clinical applications, commercial products and public policy;

“On behalf of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, I congratulate the Canadian government on Budget 2016,” says Hamdullahpur. “The new funding for research infrastructure and the Tri-Council will fuel Canada’s research excellence agenda. These investments will ensure we equip Canada’s next generation of leaders to make their mark around the world.”

 

For further information, please contact:

Dylan Hanley

Director, Public Affairs, U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

(613) 695-6755

media@u15.ca

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As Canada’s 15 leading research universities, U15 members undertake 79 percent of all competitive university research in Canada, rank among the world’s premier institutions, and conduct about $8.5 billion worth of research annually. Collectively, we produce more than 70 percent of all doctorates awarded in Canada.

 

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