Canada Foundation for Innovation tops up operational funding for 14 national research organizations with additional $230 million

Mark Mann
July 22, 2020

On Tuesday, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced the second instalment of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund from 2017. The new parcel of operational funding amounts to nearly $230 million for 14 national research facilities at 10 universities. The funding will be distributed over the three fiscal years, 2020-21 through 2022-23.

"The CFI’s investments in research infrastructure through its MSI Fund meant these facilities were ready to tackle emerging challenges like COVID-19," said Roseann O’Reilly Runte, CFI's president and CEO, in a statement. "As society becomes more complex, we need to continue to foster ingenuity and a relentless passion for knowledge with the equipment and spaces researchers need to flourish.”

This latest round of funding follows the scheduled midterm review of the 17 national research facilities that were originally funded with an investment of $328.5 million in 2017. The midterm reviews are a form of quality assurance that the CFI uses to ensure each facility is maximizing its scientific and technological capabilities.

Compute Canada was not included in this updated round because its funding is being transitioned to the Government of Canada’s National Digital Research Infrastructure strategy. The Metabolomics Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta was awarded $6 million in 2017 but was not included in this recent announcement because its midterm review has not been concluded. The second instalment for VIDO-InterVac was already announced by the Prime Minister on March 23.

SNOLAB, Canada’s National Design Network, and Canadian Light Source Inc. were originally awarded funding in 2017 for 3 years, from 2017-18 to 2019-20 and were required to submit new proposals for the 2020-21 through 2022-23 period. They are receiving new funding following successful new proposals that were submitted during the midterm review.

A subset of the MSI-funded research facilities also received an increase in funding in April 2019 as a response to recommendations from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. Seven research facilities received a combined total of nearly $40 million at that time: The Canadian Light Source, VIDO-InterVac, Ocean Networks Canada, SNOLAB, the CCGS Amundsen icebreaker, Ocean Tracking Network, and Canada’s National Design Network.

This biggest infusion in this latest round of MSI funding went to Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, with nearly $77 million. Queen's University had three research facilities receive a combined $63 million: SNOLAB, Canada’s National Design Network, and Canadian Cancer Trials Group Operations and Statistics Centre.


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