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Canada's $580M in New Grants Include Numerous 'Omics Programs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Canada Foundation for Innovation has granted over C$665 million ($576.8 million) for new grants and infrastructure at dozens of Canadian research institutes, the foundation said last week.

The government funding will support a wide range of research, including biomedical and biotechnology studies involving genomics, molecular imaging, proteomics, and other areas. A large portion of the grants went to fund projects in the physical sciences, energy technologies, and other fields.

Under the Leading Edge Fund, which enables institutions to add to ongoing initiatives that already won CFI grants, CFI has granted C$248 million to 64 projects.

Through the New Initiatives Fund, which supports new areas of research and technology development, CFI has granted C$265 million to 69 projects.

The Infrastructure Operating Fund, which is aimed at helping to cover institutions with the incremental and maintenance costs associated new infrastructure, has granted around C$154 million.

"This new investment will substantially increase Canada's capacity to carry out important world-class scientific research and technology development that will benefit all Canadians," CFI President and CEO Eliot Phillipson said in a statement.

CFI also said that the research funding "will help stimulate the economy by employing the workers to build the labs and equipment needed to conduct cutting-edge research, as well as the technicians and scientists to efficiently run them."

Among the grants, the Province of Alberta received C$10.6 million for a Cell and Tissue Innovation Research Center and C$4 million to support infrastructure for the Center for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, with both grants going to the University of Alberta.

Alberta also received C$3.2 million for the Southern Alberta Group for Epigenetic Studies of Epigenetic Regulation of Cell Memory and Stress Response.

British Columbia will receive C$72 million. Several biomedical projects were funded at the University of British Columbia including C$4.1 million for Advanced Structural Biology for Re-emerging Infectious Diseases; C$10 million for Ultra-High Throughput DNA Sequencing Platform for Large Scale Genome Analysis; C$3.8 million for a Center for High-throughput PhenoGenomics; and C$2.6 million for a Center for Biointerface Characterization (from Molecular to Cellular and Macroscopic Properties:

In Manitoba, the University of Manitoba won C$1.2 million for three-dimensional nanoBioMedical Imaging, and C$596,000 for a Manitoba Integrated Cell Purification and Analysis Unit.

Ontario was awarded C$262.8 million. These grants include C$2.8 million to study the Convergence of Genetics and Brain Imaging in Mental Health Addictions at the Center for Addictions and Mental Health; C$4.3 million for the Hospital for Sick Children to fund Phase II integrative genomics studies; Mount Sinai Hospital received C$11.5 million for quantitative cell biology and proteomics, and C$7.3 million for an integrated and regional platform for mouse models of human disease; C$12.5 million to the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research for the Pancreatic Cancer Genome Project; C$1.7 million to Queen's University to identify genes for complex genetic disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and beyond; University Health Network received C$2.5 million for the Nanofabrication Centre for Personalized Medicine; $C7.2 million to the University of Guelph for a Centre for Biodiversity Genomics; C$8.4 million to the University of Ottawa for the Canadian Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility; The University of Toronto received C$3.8 million for a Centre for Microfluidic Systems in Chemistry and Biology, C$1 million for a Molecular Imaging Facility, and C$9.9 million for the Ontario Initiative in Personalized Stem Cell Medicine

In the province of Quebec, Concordia University was awarded C$466,000 for a high-performance mass spectrometer for metabolite profiling, reaction monitoring, and biomolecule analysis; the University of Montreal was awarded C$9.2 million for an integrated national technology platform for mapping protein interaction networks in health and disease; and the University of Laval won C$1.2 million for development of a bio-imaging platform for vaccine development.