BHP, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada's Ocean Supercluster, Canadian Cancer Trials Group Operations and Statistics Centre, Canadian Institute for Health Research, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canadian Research Icebreaker Amundsen, Canadian Yachting Media, CIHR Institute of Cancer Research, Coalspur, Concordia University V1 Studio, Dalhousie University, Dicklands Farms, Docantheon Horticulture, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Douglas Research Centre, Downsview Aerospace Innovation & Research, FedDev Ontario, Flax Council of Canada, Fonds de recherche du Québec, Forest Foods, George Brown College, Geotronics Consulting, GlycoNet Integrated Services, Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada, Health Canada, Hot House Foods, IIC Technologies, Innovation, Innovation Saskatchewan, Innovative Solutions, Innovative Solutions Canada, Institute for Social Connection, Logibec, MarksetBot, McBride Racing, McGill University, McKinsey & Company, Montreal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre, Mosaic Forest Management, Navcast, Navius Research, Northern Illinois University,, Ocean Networks Canada, Ocean Tracking Network, Prairies Economic Development Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Queen’s University, RCMP, Research in Additive Manufacturing and Prototyping, SailTimer, Saskatchewan Canola Growers Association, Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Save-On-Foods, SCALE AI, Science and Economic Development Canada, Simon Fraser University, SNOLAB, Storm Glass, Sun Life Financial, Université Laval, University of Calgary, University of Victoria, Vintality Tech, Weather Tactics, Western Grains Research Foundation, Western University, and World Animal Protection



The Short Report - August 24, 2022: CFI announces major science initiative projects, an inaugural scholar for NSERC, researching and producing social connection guidelines, and more.

Cindy Graham
August 24, 2022


The Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund is investing more than $628 million in 19 research infrastructure projects across Canada. University of Victoria initiative Ocean Networks Canada (project leader Kate Moran) will receive the largest investment — nearly $115 million — while Queen's University's SNOLAB (project leader Clarence Virtue) will receive the second largest — $102 million — and the Canadian Research Icebreaker Amundsen at Université Laval (project leader Marcel M.B. Babin) will receive nearly $55 million. Other recipients of MSI funding include the Canadian Cancer Trials Group Operations and Statistics Centre at Queen's University (Janet E. Dancey; $19.5 million), Dalhousie University's Ocean Tracking Network (Sara J. Iverson; $38.5 million), and GlycoNet Integrated Services (Warren W. Wakarchuk, $11 million). CFI Projects Funded Queen's U

The Government of Canada is investing $4.7 million in research projects providing insight into the brain processes that contribute to mental illness. The projects, funded through the Canadian Institute of Health Research's Spring 2022 Project Grant competition, will be led by researchers at the Douglas Research Centre within the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, affiliated with McGill University and the Montreal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre. Researchers funded include Dr. Gustavo Turecki ($1.3 million to characterize the specific cells and molecular pathways in the brain responsible for depression); Dr. Mark Brandon (nearly $1 million to develop a model of how cognitive impairments affect functioning in schizophrenia and related psychoses); Dr. Corina Nagy ($872,100 to uncover the precise molecular and cellular networks underlying the sex differences observed in major depressive disorder); and Dr. Tak Pan Wong (nearly $750,000 to study how targeting the communication between brain cells may help increase resilience to chronic stress and prevent depression.) CIHR

FedDev Ontario is investing more than $2.6 million in Downsview Aerospace Innovation & Research (DAIR), the not-for-profit working to build a physical aerospace innovation hub at Toronto's Downsview Park. The funding is to improve the aerospace sector’s environmental footprint by funding projects that support the government’s greener future initiative, which will in turn advance SMEs in the local and global aerospace supply chain. FedDev Ontario

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's new Research in Additive Manufacturing and Prototyping facility in Saskatoon has received $1 million in funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada under the Regional Innovation Ecosystem Program, and $800,000 and $200,000 respectively from Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Innovation Saskatchewan. The funding will fill industry-identified gaps, including rapid proof-of-concept/prototyping and production, low-cost automation, digital manufacturing (3D printing) and collaborative robotics. Sask Polytechnic

Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre has received $1,350,000 from Prairies Economic Development Canada to support the commercialization of downstream processing for fermented and bioengineered food products. This investment will support The Advanced Ingredient Program, which focuses on building capacity and developing new generation ingredients and processes that use plant-based ingredients and their co-products as alternative protein sources to meat. Food Centre

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is contributing $536,000 in funding for a project using crowdsourced wind measurements to gather marine weather data to improve vessel navigation. The balance of the nearly $2-million project will come from project partners including Halifax-based SailTimer along with Canadian Yachting MediaIIC Technologies, and Navcast (Mississauga). Four international companies are also collaborating on the project, including MarksetBot (Detroit), McBride Racing (Santa Barbara), Storm Glass (Sweden), and Weather Tactics (California). Ocean Supercluster (Ottawa) has started an artificial intelligence-governance contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada, its third project with the federal government, as part of an Innovative Solutions Canada program to test Canadian-made products using AI. The intelligence management software firm has been working with the RCMP and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, who have been providing feedback on the use of NuEnergy's AI management platform, which is set up to "support the ethical and transparent governance of AI systems." NuEnergy

Dr. Kiffer Card, director of research for the GenWell Project, is leading a collaboration with Simon Fraser University, the Institute for Social Connection, the Public Health Agency of Canada and several researchers from Canadian universities to research and produce Canadian social connection guidelines to build understanding of the impact of social ties to health and well-being. The project has received $761,000 in federal funding from the Canadian Institute for Health Research towards the project. Newswire

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing in a number of projects to fight climate change and protect food security through the Canada-British Columbia Agri-Innovation Program administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Funding of $1 million will be dispersed to ten companies including Dicklands Farms (Chilliwack; $165,000 to help design and develop a low-emission dairy barn); Docantheon Horticulture ($15,000 to develop a mini-tractor that reduces worker fatigue while increasing productivity), and Geotronics Consulting in partnership with Vintality Tech ($192,022 to reduce irrigation in vineyards). Meanwhile, more than $2.4 million will support 14 projects to bolster innovation in B.C. farms, including over $380,000 to Surrey-based BC Hot House Foods to develop a way to cultivate greenhouse strawberries commercially to enjoy year-round; $500,000 to Innovative Solutions in North Vancouver to develop an automated pesticide-free crop treatment system for greenhouse vegetables; and $15,000 to Vancouver-based Forest Foods to develop facility design plans to help with packaging and processing. Climate & Food Security Projects Farm Innovation Projects

SCALE AI has announced a financing round of $50 million to support 12 new artificial intelligence projects. The Scale AI funding recipients include Logibec’s DAL-IA project to develop a solution that prevents inventory shortages in hospitals through improved consumption forecasting ($2.4 million) and Improving Save-On-Foods’ supply chain through AI-based demand forecasting ($2.8 million). Scale AI projects

The Fonds de recherche du Québec has granted Concordia University venture builder V1 Studio $600,000 to develop a lab-to-market education program to support student researchers exploring an entrepreneurial career path. The funding is directed at V1 Studio's Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship (QcSE) program, which facilitates researchers’ lab-to-market journey through entrepreneurship training. Concordia


A World Animal Protection and Navius Research report shows Canada's 2030 climate targets are achievable if Canadians move to a more plant-based diet. The research demonstrates the potential to meet Canada’s climate targets through diet-change initiatives. A key finding is that if Canada’s future animal consumption is lower, it will cost 11 percent less for the economy to comply with the 2030 emissions target, compared to a future in which animal consumption remains at current levels. World Animal Protection


Dr. Imogen Coe will be the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's inaugural scholar in residence as part of a pilot initiative with Toronto Metropolitan University. Coe's role will be "to contribute fresh and innovative perspectives from a researcher’s lens on NSERC’s programs, policies and processes to support NSERC’s mandate." She will also provide input to NSERC’s vice president’s office, research grants and scholarships and work closely with senior management for a 12-month period to guide NSERC’s key priorities. NSERC

Dr. Leigh Chapman has been appointed Canada's new chief nursing officer, following a reinstatement of this position in February after a 10-year hiatus. Chapman will provide strategic advice from a nursing perspective to Health Canada on priority policy and program areas, including health workforce planning and stability, long-term care, home care, palliative care, mental health, alcohol and drug use, models of care, scope of practice, and competencies. She will represent the federal government at public forums within and outside of Canada,  as well as convening on key nursing issues with provincial/territorial governments, federal health populations, nursing stakeholders, regulatory bodies/colleges, and educators. GOC

Dr. Fei-Fei Liu has been appointed scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research for a term of four years, effective September 1. Liu has worked for more than 30 years as a clinician scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and is a senior scientist, chief of the radiation medicine program, and head of the department of radiation oncology at the University Health Network in Toronto. CIHR

Véronique Dorval has been appointed chief operating officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Dorval was senior vice president at Sun Life Financial and spent 12 years as associate principal at McKinsey & Company. BDC

Meaghan Seagrave has accepted the position of executive director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), effective this September. Seagrave serves on several regional and national boards in support of entrepreneurs, research, innovation, and commercial investment. Current executive director Sandy Marshall is stepping back from the position of executive director and is shifting into an advisory and project role. BIC

Wayne Thompson will replace Garth Patterson as executive director of the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) on December 1. Patterson is retiring from the position after 11 years of service. Thompson has been executive director of the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission for the past eight years and president of the Flax Council of Canada for the past two years. He has also worked as a research program manager for WGRF, held positions with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture's policy branch, and was the executive director of the Saskatchewan Canola Growers Association. WGRF

Dr. Lesley Rigg will be the president and vice-chancellor of Brock University, effective November 1. Rigg succeeds interim president Lynn Wells and former president Gervan Fearon, who is now president of George Brown College. Rigg is currently vice-president (research) and professor of geography at Western University; she also served as vice-president for research and innovation partnerships and was the associate dean, research and graduate affairs in the college of liberal arts and sciences at Northern Illinois University. Brock

Rob Gough has been appointed president and CEO of Vancouver-based Mosaic Forest Management, effective September 1. Gough most recently served as Mosaic's senior vice president and chief commercial officer. He also worked within the mining sector at Coalspur and BHP. Gough succeeds president and CEO Jeff Zweig, who is leaving the company effective August 31. Mosaic




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