Government of Canada’s budget embraces historic moment for the health research and innovation ecosystem

OTTAWA, April 20, 2021 – Research Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s 2021 Federal Budget, which recognizes, through its investments, the critical role of Canadian health research and innovation in Canada’s pandemic recovery and future resilience. A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, Budget 2021 makes strategic investments in critical areas of health research and health innovation that will strengthen Canada’s resiliency and pandemic preparedness, advance health research and fuel economic growth and recovery.

“Research Canada welcomes the much-needed investments in health research and health innovation, including the newly announced Clinical Trials Fund, National Institute for Women’s Health Research and biomedical research fund,” says Dr. Rose Goldstein, Chair of Research Canada and Professor of Medicine at McGill University. Additional strategic investments were committed to support mental health, Indigenous health and well-being, pediatric cancer research, and a national framework for diabetes. “These investments address several critical areas of health research that have desperately needed support; however, in order to truly shore up Canada’s health research and innovation ecosystem, the Government must continue to invest in fundamental science through the granting councils’ Project Grant Programs, which provide important direct funding for our next generation of health researchers and innovators.”

Research Canada also applauds the Government of Canada for its support of Canadian innovation and industrial growth. “We are pleased to see the Government commit $1 billion over seven years for promising life sciences and bio-manufacturing firms through the Strategic Innovation Fund and $500 million over four years to the Canada Foundation for Innovation to assist with the infrastructure needs of post-secondary institutions and research hospitals as they continue to expand their bioscience capacity,” says Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada. “These investments, along with others made to Genome Canada in support of a Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO-InterVac) and the Stem Cell Network, will help to spur economic growth and ensure that Canadian health research and innovation remain globally competitive.”

Budget 2021 also makes important investments in Canada’s health and biosciences sector, including $2.2 billion over seven years towards growing a vibrant domestic life sciences and bio-manufacturing sector. “Through these investments, the Government of Canada has recognized that a vibrant life sciences sector is critical to keeping Canadians healthy, promoting economic growth, building resilience and rebuilding what Canada has lost,” says Dr. Ryan Wiley, Policy Advisor to Research Canada’s Board of Directors and President of Shift Health. Other investments that will support this sector—especially small- and medium-sized health and biosciences companies—include funding to expand the Industrial Research Assistance Program, to support a renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative and to support the Innovation Superclusters Initiative that played a critical role in Canada’s pandemic response. “While the investments Budget 2021 represent an important step forward for Canada’s life sciences sector, we must continue to work with all levels of government to create a balanced policy environment that strengthens essential partnerships across the health research and innovation ecosystem.”

Research Canada looks forward to continuing our work with the Government of Canada to advance Canadian health research and innovation and to ensure that these and future investments support a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to policy that considers the critical role of all sectors in protecting the health and well-being of Canadians.

About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

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For inquiries:
Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs