U15 celebrates the second round of Canada First Research Excellence Fund awards

WATERLOO, ON (September 6, 2016) — The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities warmly welcomes the federal government’s announcement of the second round of Canada First Research Excellence Fund awards. This pioneering fund will support Canadian institutions as they pursue exceptional, world-class research excellence.

“Today’s announcement is crucial to the long-term competitiveness of Canada’s research universities, and will allow us to scale-up our core research strengths,” says Guy Breton, Chair of The U15 and Rector of the University of Montreal.  “The U15 is proud to have been the catalyst behind the advent of this program.  These game-changing investments will develop areas of strength for Canadian universities that will enable us to compete at the highest levels internationally. Research universities anchor innovative economies, and these investments, coupled with this year’s investments in infrastructure and funding for the granting councils, will make a significant difference in Canada’s research strength.”

The U15 offers congratulations to all of the institutions who were successful in the competition, including the nine U15 institutions. Winners include:


  • University of Alberta: $75 million for “Future Energy Systems Research Institute.”
  • University of Calgary: $75 million for “Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources.”
  • Dalhousie University: $93.7 million for “Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier.”
  • McGill University: $84 million for “Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives.”
  • Queen’s University: $63.7 million for “Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre.”
  • Université de Montreal: $93.5 million for “Data Serving Canadians: Deep Learning and Optimization for the Knowledge Revolution.”
  • University of Saskatchewan: $77.8 million for “World Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change.”
  • University of Waterloo: $76.2 million for “Transformative Quantum Technologies.”
  • Western University: $66 million for “BrainsCAN: Brain Health for Life.”

As well as:

  • Polytechnique Montreal: $35.6 million for “The Montreal TransMedTech Institute.”
  • University of Guelph: $76.6 million for “Food from Thought: Agricultural Systems for a Healthy Planet.”
  • Laurentian University: $49.3 million for “Metal Earth.”
  • York University: $33.3 million for “Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA).”

“The successful initiatives announced today, coupled with those announced last year, will help to transform the Canadian research landscape,” says Suzanne Corbeil, Executive Director of The U15. “These investments will lead to discoveries that drive both social and commercial innovation. As we embark on a national project to build the innovative economy of the future, the government’s investments in scientific research will be of crucial importance in strengthening Canada’s international competitiveness, attracting the best and brightest talent, and driving economic growth to benefit all Canadians.”

For further information, please contact:

Dylan Hanley

Director, Public Affairs, U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

(613) 695-6755


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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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