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Federal Budget Provides Substantial Support for University Research and Innovation

Finance minister Jim Flaherty unveiled the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund in Tuesday’s federal budget. It will invest $1.5 billion over the next decade for Canadian post-secondary institutions to excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada.

“It’s an exceptional government investment,” said McMaster president Patrick Deane. “Countries that have made extraordinary leaps in research and innovation have made these types of landmark investments. For Canada to now have this type of support from the government will allow our country to compete and collaborate at the highest levels.

“As a research-intensive university this investment means McMaster researchers will have new opportunities to advance the boundaries of knowledge, science and innovation. They will also be able to benefit from the government’s increased support for the granting councils.”

Budget 2014 highlights

• $1.5 billion over ten years for the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, funding to begin in 2015-16 on a competitive peer-reviewed basis

• $46 million additional investment on an ongoing basis in the granting councils and indirect costs of research to begin in 2014-15

• An additional $500 million over two years to the Automotive Innovation Fund

• $8 million over two years to expand Mitacs’ Elevate program for postdoctoral industrial R&D fellowships

“These new investments will complement the commitment McMaster has already made in its new $2.5 million research excellence fund,” said provost and vice-president, Academic David Wilkinson.

Additional information on the federal budget and its significant boost for university research is available through the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and through the U15 group of research-intensive universities.

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