Western University commends the Canadian government for delivering the largest investment ever in fundamental science research as part of the 2018 federal budget.
In Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau committed $3.8 billion over the next five years to further propel innovation and science at Canadian universities.
This landmark total includes $1.22 billion in new funding to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), known collectively as the Tri-Council.
The budget also includes $275 million for a new fund aimed at research that is international, multidisciplinary and fast-breaking – three hallmarks of Western’s own strategic plan – and $21 million towards increasing diversity in science.
“I am thrilled about Canada’s investment in investigator-led, fundamental research, and its emphasis on equity and diversity, in the 2018 budget,” says Lisa Saksida, Western’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience and the Scientific Director of BrainsCAN. “This is a major boost in the places where it is most needed, and a big step toward creating an environment that will make Canada a powerhouse of cutting-edge research and innovation.”
Saksida also made special note of the important role that Science Minister Kirsty Duncan played in the federal government’s historic level of research funding.
“The Canadian government really listened to its scientists, and I am grateful to our Science Minister, who not only played a huge part in making this happen, but also acts as an outstanding role model for women in science.”
Western also applauds the government’s continued support for scientific research infrastructure with an expected $763 million coming to the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the $210 million earmarked for the Canada Research Chair (CRC) program, which will create significant funding and renewal for the country’s top academic scientists.
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