New fund to boost research unveiled at McMaster

News Apr 08, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

A $2-billion vein of new cash has been opened to Canada's universities and colleges.

The fund, first announced in the federal budget last month, was unveiled again Friday by federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.

In an announcement at McMaster University, Bains said the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will finance the new laboratories and other facilities colleges and universities need to discover the products and ideas that will grow the country's economy.

"This is one of the more exciting announcements from the budget," Bains said. "This will allow our researchers to take their brilliant ideas and run with them."

Bains said that by giving researchers better facilities to work in the flow of new ideas and products into the economy — a process called commercialization in bureaucratese — will be quickened.

That, in turn, will create new jobs for the middle class the Trudeau government has promised to support.

"Our government has been very clear that we want to grow the economy and help the middle class. This particular investment speaks to our commitment to grow the economy through innovation," Bains said in an interview. "We believe post-secondary institutions play a key role in that.

"It's about innovation and economic development and commercialization and science and research and creating good quality jobs," Bains added. "This is a $2-billion commitment that will help create good quality jobs and stimulate the economy."

McMaster president Patrick Deane said the new program will help.

Discovering new products and ideas, and then getting them out into the market, can be very expensive, Deane said.

"What's wonderful about this initiative is it will support work that crosses the boundary between academic work and commercialization," he said. "Research is always expensive and the facilities in which it has to be conducted are very costly. This is a great shot in the arm for a university like this, one which derives much of its prestige and standing from the research that happens here."

While specific projects for the new fund haven't been decided yet, Deane said proposals in areas such as materials research, biomedical studies, infectious diseases and aging are high on the list of likely submissions.

"This is all work that is explicitly to be of benefit to the economy and Canadian society more broadly," he said. "It's too early to say in what area we will make proposals, but I think it's safe to say it will be in an area of research that has considerable potential for commercialization."

McMaster does about $310 million worth of sponsored research a year.

The new fund will finance up to half the cost of approved projects. It is in addition to the government's 10-year, $120-billion infrastructure and stimulus program. A third of the fund is reserved for community colleges to support training initiatives.

Bob Bratina, Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, welcomed the new support.

"It's fair to say McMaster has lots ready to go," he said. "The potential is huge. From my own selfish point of view, I'd like to see some emphasis on steel and the advancement of steel technologies that will enable us to continue to be sustainable as a steel producer."

The deadline for submitting new proposals for the new fund is May 9 for projects to be completed by April 30, 2018.

Filomena Tassi, MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, also saw it as an important boost to job creation.

"The potential of the research from McMaster and Mohawk and the innovation potential is huge," she said. "Investing here ultimately will create jobs."

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

New fund to boost research unveiled at McMaster

News Apr 08, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

A $2-billion vein of new cash has been opened to Canada's universities and colleges.

The fund, first announced in the federal budget last month, was unveiled again Friday by federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.

In an announcement at McMaster University, Bains said the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will finance the new laboratories and other facilities colleges and universities need to discover the products and ideas that will grow the country's economy.

"This is one of the more exciting announcements from the budget," Bains said. "This will allow our researchers to take their brilliant ideas and run with them."

Bains said that by giving researchers better facilities to work in the flow of new ideas and products into the economy — a process called commercialization in bureaucratese — will be quickened.

That, in turn, will create new jobs for the middle class the Trudeau government has promised to support.

"Our government has been very clear that we want to grow the economy and help the middle class. This particular investment speaks to our commitment to grow the economy through innovation," Bains said in an interview. "We believe post-secondary institutions play a key role in that.

"It's about innovation and economic development and commercialization and science and research and creating good quality jobs," Bains added. "This is a $2-billion commitment that will help create good quality jobs and stimulate the economy."

McMaster president Patrick Deane said the new program will help.

Discovering new products and ideas, and then getting them out into the market, can be very expensive, Deane said.

"What's wonderful about this initiative is it will support work that crosses the boundary between academic work and commercialization," he said. "Research is always expensive and the facilities in which it has to be conducted are very costly. This is a great shot in the arm for a university like this, one which derives much of its prestige and standing from the research that happens here."

While specific projects for the new fund haven't been decided yet, Deane said proposals in areas such as materials research, biomedical studies, infectious diseases and aging are high on the list of likely submissions.

"This is all work that is explicitly to be of benefit to the economy and Canadian society more broadly," he said. "It's too early to say in what area we will make proposals, but I think it's safe to say it will be in an area of research that has considerable potential for commercialization."

McMaster does about $310 million worth of sponsored research a year.

The new fund will finance up to half the cost of approved projects. It is in addition to the government's 10-year, $120-billion infrastructure and stimulus program. A third of the fund is reserved for community colleges to support training initiatives.

Bob Bratina, Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, welcomed the new support.

"It's fair to say McMaster has lots ready to go," he said. "The potential is huge. From my own selfish point of view, I'd like to see some emphasis on steel and the advancement of steel technologies that will enable us to continue to be sustainable as a steel producer."

The deadline for submitting new proposals for the new fund is May 9 for projects to be completed by April 30, 2018.

Filomena Tassi, MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, also saw it as an important boost to job creation.

"The potential of the research from McMaster and Mohawk and the innovation potential is huge," she said. "Investing here ultimately will create jobs."

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

New fund to boost research unveiled at McMaster

News Apr 08, 2016 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

A $2-billion vein of new cash has been opened to Canada's universities and colleges.

The fund, first announced in the federal budget last month, was unveiled again Friday by federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.

In an announcement at McMaster University, Bains said the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will finance the new laboratories and other facilities colleges and universities need to discover the products and ideas that will grow the country's economy.

"This is one of the more exciting announcements from the budget," Bains said. "This will allow our researchers to take their brilliant ideas and run with them."

Bains said that by giving researchers better facilities to work in the flow of new ideas and products into the economy — a process called commercialization in bureaucratese — will be quickened.

That, in turn, will create new jobs for the middle class the Trudeau government has promised to support.

"Our government has been very clear that we want to grow the economy and help the middle class. This particular investment speaks to our commitment to grow the economy through innovation," Bains said in an interview. "We believe post-secondary institutions play a key role in that.

"It's about innovation and economic development and commercialization and science and research and creating good quality jobs," Bains added. "This is a $2-billion commitment that will help create good quality jobs and stimulate the economy."

McMaster president Patrick Deane said the new program will help.

Discovering new products and ideas, and then getting them out into the market, can be very expensive, Deane said.

"What's wonderful about this initiative is it will support work that crosses the boundary between academic work and commercialization," he said. "Research is always expensive and the facilities in which it has to be conducted are very costly. This is a great shot in the arm for a university like this, one which derives much of its prestige and standing from the research that happens here."

While specific projects for the new fund haven't been decided yet, Deane said proposals in areas such as materials research, biomedical studies, infectious diseases and aging are high on the list of likely submissions.

"This is all work that is explicitly to be of benefit to the economy and Canadian society more broadly," he said. "It's too early to say in what area we will make proposals, but I think it's safe to say it will be in an area of research that has considerable potential for commercialization."

McMaster does about $310 million worth of sponsored research a year.

The new fund will finance up to half the cost of approved projects. It is in addition to the government's 10-year, $120-billion infrastructure and stimulus program. A third of the fund is reserved for community colleges to support training initiatives.

Bob Bratina, Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, welcomed the new support.

"It's fair to say McMaster has lots ready to go," he said. "The potential is huge. From my own selfish point of view, I'd like to see some emphasis on steel and the advancement of steel technologies that will enable us to continue to be sustainable as a steel producer."

The deadline for submitting new proposals for the new fund is May 9 for projects to be completed by April 30, 2018.

Filomena Tassi, MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, also saw it as an important boost to job creation.

"The potential of the research from McMaster and Mohawk and the innovation potential is huge," she said. "Investing here ultimately will create jobs."

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec