Montreal, Quebec, May 30, 2012— New research networks will advance the care available to elderly patients, boost the production of sustainable biofuels and improve our ability to respond to marine emergencies or environmental changes. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today announced $73.8 million over five years to support three new Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) dedicated to developing solutions to these challenges.
“Our government’s Economic Action Plan 2012 focuses on the drivers of growth and job creation—innovation, investment, education, skills and communities,” said Minister Goodyear. “Improving health care, sustaining the environment and managing natural resources are three very important priorities for Canadians and by focussing research investments on these areas will build a more sustainable future for all Canadians.”
Funding was awarded to the three new NCEs following a competition to assess the applicants’ research proposal, training program, level of networking and partnerships, knowledge-transfer activities, and management. The new networks are:
- BioFuelNet, based at McGill University and led by Scientific Director Donald Smith ($24.9 million);
- the Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN), based at Queen’s University and led by Scientific Director Daren Heyland ($23.9 million); and
- the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR), based at Dalhousie University and led by Scientific Director Douglas Wallace ($25 million).
BioFuelNet, to be housed at McGill University, will link the various components of the Canadian biofuels and bioproducts sector, integrating and accelerating developments, and filling the gaps in current research. Its goal is to significantly expand the Canadian energy sector’s use of products, such as fuels and chemicals derived from renewable biomass sources.
“Canada helped pioneer networking more than 20 years ago as a way of getting the most out of our research capacity,” said Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. “By bringing together the best minds from across the country to focus on a specific area, these new networks carry on a proud tradition that has benefitted Canada greatly.”
The NCE program is managed jointly by the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada.