UAlberta president praises ‘visionary’ investment in research excellence
President Indira Samarasekera says 2014 federal budget enshrines research excellence as a key priority in building a stronger Canada.
By NEWS STAFF
(Edmonton) The 2014 federal budget represents a “visionary” step forward for research excellence and innovation at Canada’s universities, said University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera.
With more than $1.5 billion in new research funding, budget 2014 addresses the increasing need for Canada’s research-intensive universities to compete on the world stage and attract and develop top-level research talent vital to Canada’s future prosperity.
“I am thrilled with the Government of Canada’s strong commitment to Canadian universities through budget 2014. This budget represents a visionary investment in research excellence and innovation that will ensure Canada remains competitive globally,” said Samarasekera. “This funding will allow the U of A and our peers to attract the best and brightest to advance the scientific discoveries, solutions and ideas that will benefit Canadians for generations to come.”
Samarasekera congratulates the Government of Canada for this bold investment to help position Canadian universities in a global environment, including $1.5 billion over 10 years to create the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The university also thanks the federal government for its enhanced funding support through Tri-Council funding agencies.
The CFREF program, put forward with the support of both the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, is essential for Canada to achieve global leadership in specific fields, attract talent and advance the country’s research standing in the world, she said.
“In a time of budget austerity, I am particularly delighted by the Government of Canada’s funding commitment to the country’s universities and ensuring Canada remains a true world leader in higher education, research and innovation.”
• $1.6 billion over five years in new support for research and innovation
• $1.5 billion over 10 years to create the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, including: $50 million in 2015–16, $100 million in 2016–17, $150 million in 2017–18, $200 million in 2018–19 and beyond.
• An additional $46 million per year on an ongoing basis to the granting councils in support of advanced research and scientific discoveries, including the indirect costs of research.
• $15 million per year to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for the expansion of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging and other health research priorities.
• $15 million per year to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, to support advanced research in the natural sciences and engineering.
• $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, to support advanced research in the social sciences and humanities.
• $9 million per year for the Indirect Costs Program