By the Numbers: Who's getting funded in the 2021 federal budget?

Guest Contributor
April 21, 2021

Research and reporting by Mark Henderson and Kyria Sztainbok

On Monday, the Liberal minority government released a $101-billion federal budget that included billions of dollars in funding for science, technology and innovation (STI) programs.

The budget’s single largest STI investment is for the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), which will receive $7.2 billion over seven years starting this fiscal year. Some of the other initiatives receiving significant amounts of funding include the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the Clean Fuels Fund, and support for long-term care facilities.

To keep track of the array of agencies and programs receiving funding, Research Money has created a list of STI initiatives benefiting from the 2021 federal budget below.

Budget 2021 – Research and Innovation Initiatives

($ millions)

Organization Amount

Duration Start Year (Fiscal Year)
Strategic Innovation Fund 7,200 7 years 2021-22
       - Net Zero Accelerator 5,000
       - Sectoral Support 2,200
Mitacs: 85,000 additional learning placements 708 5 years 2021-22
Canada Foundation for Innovation (bio-science support) 500 4 years 2021-22
Industrial Research Assistance Program expansion 500 5 years 2021-22
Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative 450 5 years 2021-22
Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy 443.8 10 years 2021-22
Genome Canada/Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy 400 6 years 2021-22
National Quantum Strategy 360 7 years 2021-22
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) (CCUS)* 319 7 years 2021-22
CCUS tax credit TBA -- --
CIHR Clinical Trials Fund 250 3 years 2021-22
Tri-Council New Biomedical Research Fund 250 4 years 2021-22
NORAD (includes R&D for technology modernization) 163.4 5 years 2021-22
adMare Bioinnovations (company creation, scale up) 92 4 years 2021-22
Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre modernization 90 5 years 2021-22
ElevateIP (intellectual property services) 90 2 years 2022-23
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IP services) 75 3 years 2021-22
NRCan and Environment Canada (satellite data) 80.2 11 years 2021-22
Innovation Superclusters Initiative (top-up support) 60 2 years 2021-22
Vaccine & Infectious Diseases Organization 59.2 3 years 2021-22
NSERC College and Community Innovation Program 46.9 2 years 2021-22
Stem Cell Network 45 3 years 2022-23
Natural Resources Canada (battery mineral expertise) 36.8 3 years 2021-22
BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy 35 5 years 2021-22
CIHR pediatric cancer research 30 2 years 2021-22
Public Health Agency of Canada & Health Canada 28.6 5 years 2021-22
NRCan Polar Continental Shelf Program 25.4 3 years 2021-22
Canadian International Innovation Program** 10 5 years 2021-22
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council*** 10 3 years 2021-22
Canadian Space Agency (next generation satellites) 9.9 2 years 2021-22
NRC Medical Production and Partnership-Building**** legislation pending

Which departments and agencies received the most funding for initiatives?

The 2021 federal budget includes around $16.2 billion towards government departments that specialize in and support R&D. The chart below details the amount of funding received by various departments, and the number of initiatives being supported.

Department Funding         ($ millions) Initiatives
Health Canada (HC)  3,765.5 9
Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) 2,945.4 9
Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) 2,680.1 5
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) 1,645.6 9
Department of National Defence (DND) 1,610.3 4
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) 1,142.1 9
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) 725.7 7
National Research Council (NRC) 670.7 4
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) 500 1
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 345 4
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) 101 1
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) 46.9 1
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 12 1


*Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) R&D and demonstration

**expand opportunities for Canadian SMEs to engage in R&D partnerships with Israeli SMEs

***academic research into systemic barriers facing diverse groups

****enable the NRCl to manufacture and produce medical products such as vaccines on a large scale and  establish and take interests in corporations to facilitate new partnership operating models


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