New CIHR strategic plan emphasizes increased collaboration and enhanced research outcomes

Mark Henderson
March 13, 2015

Revolutionary change on a budget

Six years after releasing its last roadmap, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has unveiled an updated version it hopes will move the organization closer to achieving its key objectives despite stagnant levels of federal support. Faced with a barrage of rapid changes in health research, the pharmaceutical sector, patient care, data generation and analytics, the new strategy — CIHR's third — aims to instill a culture of collaboration in which technology and data advances and the interconnectedness of players in the health research ecosystem are fully exploited.

Entitled Health Research Roadmap II: Capturing Innovation to Produce Better Health and Heath Care for Canadians, the plan covers the five-year period between FY14-15 and FY18-19. The strategy's research priorities are:

* enhanced patient experience and outcomes through innovation;

* health and wellness for Aboriginal people;

* promotion of a healthier future through preventive action; and,

* improved quality of life for persons living with chronic conditions.

Some initiatives are already underway, such as the transition from an Open Suite of Programs to Open Funding Schemes that are designed to accommodate a broader disciplinary mix of researchers.

The plan commits to step up efforts to build an "entrepreneurial advantage" by "leveraging successful commercialization networks and hubs, forging alliances and creating pre-competitive consortia with new industry partners, and supporting public-private partnerships and collaborations".

The explosion of data and advances in data analysis and data-intensive research also afford CIHR the opportunity to create policies to capture their value. Collaboration with other agencies will result in "an inter-sectoral, multi-pronged approach that considers infrastructure and capacity needs".

"(CIHR's) unique structure is designed to break down barriers that impede innovation and serves to bring researchers and knowledge users together from across disciplines, professions, sectors and geographic borders to find solutions to Canada's most complex health challenges." — CIHR Strategic Plan: 2014-15 - 2018-19

To ensure continuing responsible governance and stewardship, the plan calls for the launch of several pilots to evaluate the agency's new open programs and processes to further refine its funding program design and peer review.

CIHR Roadmap's
Strategic Directions

1) Promote excellence, creativity and

   breadth in health research and knowledge


2) Mobilize health research for

   transformation and impact

3) Enhance and optimize CIHR's activities

   and resources to align the organization

   with emerging and future needs

The strategy concludes with an updated performance measurement regime.

How CIHR will achieve its objectives without new funding remains an open question. Prior to the release of the 2009 strategy, CIHR president Dr Alain Beaudet advocated a 76% budget increase over five years to $1.7 billion (R$, October 26/09). Over that period, its budget actually declined from $1.04 billion in FY10-11 to $996 million in FY 14-15.


Other News

Events For Leaders in
Science, Tech, Innovation, and Policy

Discuss and learn from those in the know at our virtual and in-person events.

See Upcoming Events

You have 1 free article remaining.
Don't miss out - start your free trial today.

Start your FREE trial    Already a member? Log in


By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.