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Canadian Innovation

Q&A with François-Philippe Champagne

Mediaplanet interviewed Minister Champagne about Canada’s $1.4B investment in multidisciplinary research, fostering innovation and long-term benefits across health, sciences, and engineering sectors.

Minister Champagne, could you highlight a recent standout initiative supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund that exemplifies the fund’s impacts on fostering innovation within Canada?

Our government supports scientific discovery, developing Canadian research talent, and attracting top researchers from around the world. To date, we’ve invested close to $1.4 billion through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in support of 11 multidisciplinary research initiatives in health, natural and social sciences as well as in engineering. Each initiative will deliver impactful outcomes that forge strong partnerships, create long-term social and economic advantages for Canada and build upon areas of strength in the Canadian research ecosystem. From coast to coast to coast, our research institutes are undertaking projects that will deliver long-term benefits to Canadians like at Dalhousie University where research is aimed at designing and evaluating novel approaches to mitigate climate change or at the University of Ottawa where its Brain-Heart Interconnectome initiative will position Canada as the global leader in integrated brain-heart research to reduce the world-wide burden of interlinked diseases. 

In your view, what key policies or initiatives are crucial for ensuring Canada remains a competitive force in innovation, especially in sectors like technology, clean energy, and healthcare? 

With its highly-educated workforce, Canada’s science and research sector is solving some of the world’s greatest challenges, while driving innovation, growth, and productivity. Our research community, comprising of some of the best talent in the world, is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to support the ecosystem. Canada’s spending on higher education, research and development, as a share of GDP, is second among the G7 and significantly higher than the OECD average. Budget 2024 put forward a $4.6 billion package of measures to maintain our capacity for cutting-edge research, including: 

  • $2.4 billion to secure Canada’s AI advantage
  • $1.8 billion in core research grant funding; and
  • $734 million to support Canada’s world-leading research infrastructure and institutes

These investments will ensure that our younger generations can access quality post-secondary education at an affordable cost while maintaining a skilled workforce in Canada. Through these investments, our government is creating opportunities, boosting innovation, and accelerating economic growth. 

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