Canada is injecting $185 million over the next five years into a new program to fund large-scale research projects.
The new Major Science Initiatives (MSI) program will provide financial support for Canadian facilities working on major research projects. It will be run by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), an independent government-created corporation that funds research and technology development.
The federal government said large-scale research initiatives needed more predictable and stable funding.
“This investment will help researchers access the latest equipment, technologies and facilities,” said Minister of State Gary Goodyear.
In turn, the research will create jobs and contribute to a stronger economy, Goodyear said.
There could be benefits for businesses too, according to CFI President Gilles Patry.
“Some of these facilities have partnerships with industry that could use the facilities to test properties of their materials,” he said, adding some specialized sectors could also make use of any data that comes out of the massive projects.
Patry said the funding could go to a range of major projects underway right now from marine ocean studies in Victoria, B.C. to atomic physics work in Sudbury, Ont.
The CFI will fund up to 40 per cent of the total operating costs of qualifying facilities, which could include labs at universities, hospitals and non-profit research institutes.
To compete for funding, the research project must be unique in Canada, owned by an eligible institution, and have received a previous capital investment of at least $25 million from the CFI.
The CFI will consult with stakeholders before launching the competition in 2011.