Research Canada calls on the Federal Government to restore investment in discovery science or risk falling behind international competitors

researching in laboratory


OTTAWA, August 4, 2017 — The long-term productivity of Canadians and Canadian businesses rely on investment in basic scientific research, as described in this year’s Fundamental Science Review, led by Dr. C. David Naylor says Research Canada. The comments were made in a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in advance of Budget 2018, published today by the broad-based national organization.

“There is exceptional value for a knowledge-based economy with the federal government’s planned five-year $950 million investment in superclusters; however, their capacity will be stifled if investment in publically-funded research stagnates in the 2018 Budget,” says Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and VP, Research at Vancouver Coastal Health. “Specifically, Canada’s innovation engine requires enhanced public support of its primary fuel — basic science research — in order to attract and spur further investment and development by the private sector.”

Canada’s ability to innovate is a primary factor in our competitiveness and productivity. However, we are significantly outpaced internationally on several indicators. “If Canada wants to change that story, we must immediately address our acute research funding deficit,” says Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada. “We call on the federal government to implement the Naylor Report’s detailed plan for multi-year investments for renewal of fundamental science in Canada.”

In particular, Research Canada is recommending:

  • Increased investment of $485 million over four years to fund investigator-led research;
  • Stable funding of $300 million annually for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI);
  • Enhanced support for doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and research chairs;
  • New support for small capital grants, as well as for the infrastructure and equipment costs associated with federally-funded research;
  • Financial support to diversify opportunities for science-based graduate students so that they may explore, embrace and compete for non-academic careers in order to capitalize fully on their talent and energy. Such opportunities would be achieved through new academic programs created through formal partnerships among universities, colleges, academic health science centres, health charities and Canadian industries to increase graduate students’ opportunities to participate in cooperative and internship programs.

Research Canada looks forward to working with the Government of Canada this fall, in advance of the Economic Update, in an effort to strengthen Canada’s research and science base by investing in the discovery research that will fuel the next generation of innovations, create new industries, spur job creation and fuel economic growth.


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For more information:
Sean Dillon-Fordyce
Communications Manager
Telephone: 613-277-4757


Research Canada is a national, broad-based alliance dedicated to advancing health research and health innovation through collaborative advocacy. Our mission is to improve the health and prosperity of all Canadians by championing Canada’s global leadership in health research and innovation. Our key goals are to ensure that health research is a high priority of the Federal Government and to increase investments in health research from all sources.