Government of Canada makes major investment in research
In his 2014 budget unveiled on February 11, federal finance minister Jim Flaherty reinforced his government’s commitment to research.
The budget delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in new research funding, promising $1.5 billion over a decade to launch the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, starting with $50 million in 2015-16. The fund will operate on a competitive basis with universities vying for funding for specific needs. As of 2018, that fund will grow to $200 million per year.
Canada’s research granting agencies, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will also benefit from a $46-million annual boost to their funding, including $9 million for indirect costs of research.
“This budget shows a long-term vision with a promise of 10 years of new research funding,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard. “As a university which is making its mark in numerous areas of research, we applaud this new funding.”
This welcome investment in research comes as Concordia continues to increase its research capacity, expanding external partnerships, promoting faculty and student mobility, expanding its international presence, and increasing support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. New faculty hiring, the creation of dozens of new research chairs, and the development of leading research units have all been critical to this transformation.
Students will also benefit from the commitment of $40 million over two years for up to 3,000 internship positions in “high-demand fields.” This type of co-operative education has proven highly successful in providing an academic/working experience for students.
Another positive — $40 million for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program for entrepreneurs creating new businesses. “As a strong proponent of start-up culture, I am very encouraged to see the government making such a significant investment in the talent and vision of future entrepreneurs.”