Budget 2015: An investment in research infrastructure

OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 — The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities welcomes Budget 2015, which Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled in the House of Commons today.  Among its many provisions, the budget bill contains more than $1.5B in support for research and innovation in Canada, and important new investments in digital infrastructure.

“We applaud the federal government’s funding renewal for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a fundamental component of our strong research ecosystem,” says U15 Chair Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.

In addition to a commitment of $1.33B over six years for CFI starting in 2017, Budget 2015 contained the following measures supporting the post-secondary education and research sector:

  • $105 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to CANARIE, Canada’s world-class high-speed research and education network;
  • $56.4 million over four years, starting in 2016-17, for 6,000 new graduate and post-doctoral research internships at Mitacs;
  • $45 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to enable TRIUMF to continue to advance its world-leading research activities, including its production of medical isotopes;
  • $46 million, starting in 2016-17, for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, as well as the Research Support Fund for indirect research costs;
  • $119.2 million over two years, starting in 2015-16, for the National Research Council to support its R&D partnership activities with industry; and
  • $15 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to continue support for the Council of Canadian Academies and its evidence-based assessments.

“We congratulate the government for maintaining funding to CANARIE, the Council of Canadian Academies, Mitacs, and for their pre-budget commitment to supporting the Thirty Meter Telescope and for the Canada First Research Excellence Fund,” says Hamdullahpur. “We look forward to finding out this summer which proposals to further globally competitive research excellence made the first round of CFREF.”

Following Budget 2015, the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities will continue to work with parliamentarians and the federal government to find opportunities to strengthen Canada’s diversified research ecosystem through new and existing programs, says Hamdullahpur. “Governments, industry and the post-secondary sector will need to continue working together to make Canada the most innovative country in the world by 2030.”

For further information, please contact:

Rob Rosenfeld

Director, Advocacy, U15-Group of Canadian Research Universities

(613) 695-6755



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