Research Canada welcomes $1.1 billion investment for national medical and research strategy to address COVID-19

OTTAWA, April 24, 2020 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced, during Thursday’s daily briefing, an additional $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy to address COVID-19 so that Canada can make progress on vaccines, testing, national modelling and clinical trials.

“Research Canada welcomes this investment into Canada’s health research and health innovation ecosystem to help develop both short- and long-term solutions to this public health crisis,” said Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and Executive Director of the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. “We salute the $114.9 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for research projects aimed at mitigating the rapid spread of COVID-19 as well as the $40 million for the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN), led by Genome Canada.”

To help support Canada’s short- and long-term efforts to address COVID-19, the Government of Canada will invest:

  • $115 million for research into vaccines and treatments being conducted in our hospitals and universities, in addition to the previously committed $275 million investment;
  • $662 million for clinical trials based in Canada; and
  • $350 million to expand national testing and modelling, including the creation of a COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

“The investment of $23 million for the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) toward the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is just one example of the wealth of expertise among Research Canada’s member institutions,” noted Dr. Ryan Wiley, Policy Advisor to the Research Canada Board and President of Shift Health. “COVID-19 is driving an unprecedented degree of collaboration and co-operation across the health research and innovation ecosystem, and it is inspiring to see how Research Canada’s alliance—research hospitals, universities, health charities, and health and biosciences companies—has rapidly pivoted to accelerate data-sharing, expand our understanding of COVID-19 and advance innovative solutions into clinical testing.”

In addition to this $1.1 billion investment, the Government of Canada is also providing over $675,000 through the Stem Cell Network to support two new research projects, led by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and one clinical trial led by Dr. Duncan Stewart at the OHRI, all Members of the Research Canada Alliance.

“Research Canada’s Members are optimistic today because the Government of Canada has demonstrated its confidence in our community to develop the treatments and ultimately a vaccine that will defeat COVID-19,” said Ms. Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada. “The comprehensive approach the government is taking to deal with the pandemic will give Canadians the reassurance that its political leaders are putting the health and safety of all Canadians first.”

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:

Ms. Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs