Including significant spending on university-level research in the latest federal budget brought Finance Minister Joe Oliver (BA61/BCL64) some kudos from Canada’s universities this week.
The first balanced budget in seven years, with a projected surplus of $1.4 billion in 2015-16, includes an investment of $1.33 billion spread out over six years, beginning in 2017-18, in research infrastructure. These funds are intended to help to train, attract and retain top researchers at Canadian universities.
“The budget includes a significant investment of $1.33 billion over six years in research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation,” Principal Suzanne Fortier said. “This investment is the second significant measure announced by the federal government in two years, after the creation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in Budget 2014 — a $1.5 billion investment in support of research and innovation.”
The first round of CFREF funding, some $350 million, will be announced in July.
McGill, along with other Canadian universities and colleges, will continue to work closely with the federal government toward the development of a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy, Prof. Fortier said. “This announced strategy is much needed. Cutting-edge research infrastructure is critical to training, attracting and retaining talented students and researchers, and to pursuing promising new areas of research.”
Read more in the McGill Reporter.