Government of Canada investing in Canadian researchers to make world-class discoveries

Historic investments in labs and facilities will help attract the best and the brightest talent

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

LONDON, Ontario, March 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Discoveries made in research labs across Canada are leading to cleaner, greener, healthier and more prosperous lives for all Canadians. Whether they are looking for effective cancer treatments or developing clean technologies, researchers need the right tools to turn their bold ideas into reality.

That’s why today, at Western University, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced a big boost in funding for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) of $763 million over the next five years and $462 million per year starting in 2023-24. This investment provides the CFI with long-term, stable funding, one of the key recommendations from the Fundamental Science Review, completed last year by an expert panel.

This investment will allow the CFI to continue to support researchers by investing in state-of-the-art labs and research equipment in our universities, colleges and research hospitals. Investing in research infrastructure creates the spaces to train the new generation of researchers and bring together researchers and entrepreneurs who can jumpstart innovation.

The Minister also announced more than $39 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). This investment will support 251 researchers leading 186 projects at 43 universities across Canada. JELF aims to help universities attract and retain top talent from around the globe by providing researchers with the highly specialized infrastructure they require to be leaders in their field.

As part of the JELF funding, Western University is receiving more than $1 million in support of five projects, ranging from health to climate science. Ryan Stevenson will use his grant to advance our understanding of how the brain develops its ability to process sensory information in people with autism. Robert Sica will strengthen our ability to measure clouds, aerosols, forest fire smoke and volcanic ash that impact the local and global climate.


“The Canada Foundation for Innovation has ensured Canadian researchers have the tools they need to push the frontiers of knowledge in all disciplines since 1997. Today’s announcement of stable, long-term funding will help Canada continue to be an international destination for research and innovation.”

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation lays the cornerstone for the future by providing equipment that ensures the success of researchers from the very start of their careers. The John R. Evans Leaders Fund creates the conditions necessary for the extraordinary talents in Canada’s universities and hospitals to excel. With ongoing, permanent funding, the CFI will be able to continue to support their ambitions.”

Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO

“Infrastructure supported by this funding will allow us to probe the early neural signatures of developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, to improve early intervention strategies. It will also allow us to train the next generation of scientists, helping promote Canada's ability to remain at the forefront of scientific progress.”

- Ryan Stevenson, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Western University

“We applaud the Government of Canada for its continued investments in the CFI and leading research. We also congratulate our Western colleagues whose research will directly benefit from this new investment.”

Amit Chakma, President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2018 is making a historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and in the next generation of scientists. This includes the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history.

  • Budget 2018 set aside $763 million over five years for the CFI, and ongoing funding of up to $462 million per year starting in 2023-24. This permanent funding will put cutting-edge tools in the hands of our researchers and students to ensure they can make discoveries and innovate.

  • The John R. Evans Leaders Fund helps exceptional researchers at universities across the country to conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their field.

  • Total funding for JELF is $39,125,771: this includes capital funding for infrastructure of $30,096,747, and an additional $9,029,024 for incremental operating and maintenance costs awarded under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.

Quick links

Canada Foundation for Innovation
John R. Evans Leaders Fund
The CFI Research Facilities Navigator: An online database of labs and facilities that are open to working with business

Related products

A full list of the funded projects and stories about the facilities are available online at For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the CFI and its many transformative research projects.


Olivia Carey
Media Relations and
Social Media Officer
Canada Foundation for Innovation
O: 613-943-2580
C: 613-447-1723

Media Relations
Innovation, Science, and Economic
Development Canada
Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For more than 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.