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Supporting research infrastructure

Three Queen's-affiliated research facilities receive funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Three Queen’s University-affiliated research facilities have received a combined $44.25 million in support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) under the Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund. The three Queen's-affiliated facilities accounted for 13.5 per cent of the $328.5 million in total MSI funding awarded in the 2017-2022 competition cycle. In addition, nearly 17 per cent of the facilities funded (three out of 18) are affiliated with Queen’s University.

“Today’s leading-edge research, particularly large-scale collaborative research projects, can be very expensive to undertake due to the extensive infrastructure needed and the indirect costs of maintaining facilities,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal of Queen’s University. “The funding announced today is critical to ensuring that these prominent research centres can continue to operate and remain competitive, while providing opportunities for researchers at Queen’s and across Canada to continue their groundbreaking research.”

The fund supports ongoing operations and maintenance costs for a select group of national research facilities which serve as hubs for collaboration and contribute to Canada’s reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. Through these facilities, researchers at Queen’s gain access to leading edge infrastructure – aiding them in addressing some of the most important issues facing society and probing the deepest mysteries of the universe.

The Canadian Cancer Trials Group has received a five-year, $8.68 million grant to support its Operations and Statistics Centre at Queen’s. CCTG is a cancer research cooperative that provides the expertise and infrastructure for researchers to conduct national and international phase I-III cancer clinical trials. From its centre at Queen's, CCTG has supported over 500 trials in over 40 countries, aimed at improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients around the world.

SNOLAB has received a three-year, $28.57 million grant from CFI, in support of the lab’s continued operation. Born out of the Queen’s-led Sudbury Neutrino Observatory – for which Arthur McDonald was named the co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics – SNOLAB is one of only a handful of underground laboratories worldwide capable of supporting the current and future generations of subatomic and astroparticle physics experiments, seeking to unlock the mysteries of the universe. The work conducted as part of the SNO collaboration and subsequently at SNOLAB has led to groundbreaking results cementing Canada’s, and Queen’s, reputation as a world leader in the field.  Building on this history of success, Queen’s is home to Gilles Gerbier, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics. SNOLAB continues to attract top-flight scientific collaborations, including the recently-announced Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC).

Recognized worldwide for their work advancing innovation in micro-nano technologies, CMC Microsystems has received a three-year, $7 million grant from CFI, with the option to apply for an additional two years. The funding will support researchers across Canada’s National Design Network by providing state-of-the-art commercial design tools, expertise and industrial connections for research and development in advanced smart technologies. The long-term goal is to foster Canadian leadership in advanced technology manufacturing and establish Canada as a global technology leader. Queen’s contracts with CMC to manage CFI funds granted to Queen’s as part of Canada’s National Design Network.

“Through the MSI program the Government of Canada clearly recognizes the importance of sustaining key research platforms, and supporting large-scale collaborations that are conducting leading-edge research with global impact,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).  “This support is crucial to the success of our leading research facilities as the funds enable our faculty, students, and post-doctoral fellows, as well as our collaborators to access state-of-the-art research infrastructure required to undertake their seminal research programs.”

Created in 1997, the Canada Foundation for Innovation makes financial contributions to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high quality research. The foundation provides funding to eligible Canadian institutions, through a rigorous competitive and independent merit-review process, through a suite of funds. Funding is awarded based on the quality of the research proposed and its need for infrastructure, its contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation and the potential benefits of the research to Canada.

For more information on the Canada Foundation for Innovation, or the Major Science Initiatives Fund, please visit the website.