Budget 2016 takes action to reinvigorate Canada’s health research and innovation system
23 March 2016, OTTAWA—Budget 2016, which strengthens Canada’s health research and innovation system by dedicating new resources to discovery research, infrastructure at postsecondary institutions and federal laboratories and accelerating the diffusion and commercialization of knowledge into applications that benefit industry and society as a whole.
“We applaud the Federal Government for recognizing the fundamental role of investigator-led discovery research in an innovation-driven economy by increasing the budget of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research by $30 million,” said Dr. Ryan Wiley, Chair of Research Canada and President of Shift Health, a Toronto-based healthcare strategy firm. “We also look forward to working with the Minister of Science as she undertakes a comprehensive review of all elements of federal support for fundamental science over the coming year. It is time to bring greater coherence to the diverse range of federal research and development priorities and funding instruments,” he said.
Research Canada is pleased that Budget 2016 will provide an additional $95 million per year, starting in 2016–17, on an ongoing basis to the granting councils—the highest amount of new annual funding for discovery research in more than a decade.
“We are delighted with Budget 2016’s commitment to strategic infrastructure investments at post-secondary institutions, by providing up to $2 billion over three years, starting in 2016-17, for a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund,” said Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, Research Canada’s President and CEO. “The quality of infrastructure at post-secondary institutions plays a key role in attracting and retaining the best and brightest researchers,” she said.
Research Canada is also encouraged by Budget 2016’s support to both genomics and stem cell research by providing $237.2 million in 2016-17 to support the pan-Canadian activities of Genome Canada to the end of 2019–20 and to provide up to $12 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, to support the Stem Cell Network’s research, training and outreach activities.
Research Canada supports the steps Budget 2016 is taking to affect business growth and innovation, including making available up to $800 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, to bolster innovation networks and clusters and providing the Industrial Research Assistance Program with an additional $50 million in 2016-17 to increase the number of companies served by the Program’s highly qualified Industrial Technology Advisors nationwide.
Research Canada looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to strengthen Canada’s research and science base by investing in the discovery research that will fuel the next generation of innovations, create new industries, spur job creation and fuel economic growth.