Oct. 13, 2017

Minister Hehr announces more than $20M in funding for health, science research

Six projects receive infrastructure boost through Canada Foundation for Innovation

The federal government announced Thursday that the University of Calgary is receiving funding for six projects totalling more than $20 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The funding was announced at the university today by Kent Hehr, pictured above, minister of sport and persons with disabilities, on behalf of Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, as part of a CFI investment of more than $554 million in 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada through the Innovation Fund. Read more about Duncan's announcement.

"Hearing about the scientists and researchers here at the University of Calgary is truly inspiring," Hehr said in his remarks. "The projects that feature satellites and address precision medicine and genetic diseases of childhood are examples of what Canadians can achieve when given the proper tools to excel. I am proud that our government can support such ground-breaking research and that much of that research is happening right here in Calgary."

Ed McCauley, vice-president (research) at the University of Calgary was in attendance at the announcement. “The Canada Foundation for Innovation has a bold vision — creating a robust innovation system in our country and encouraging world-class research that strengthens our economy and improves quality of life for Canadians — and the University of Calgary is proud to share that vision,” says McCauley. “Our scholars are forging bold paths in their fields, and CFI’s investment is a strong endorsement of the work they’re doing and the impact they will have in our communities.”

One of the initiatives being funded at the university will support the expansion of a research project at the Faculty of Science that looks at the development and implementation of a quantum cryptography network, which promises the secure distribution of email, banking information, and other digital communications. Led by Wolfgang Tittel, PhD, this grant will allow the purchase of cutting-edge equipment in the area of quantum networks that, beyond secure communications, will also allow connecting future quantum computers.   

“The CFI Innovation grant will enable Alberta to become a major player in the rapidly expanding field of quantum technology,” says Tittel.  “The long-term goal is to establish a coast-to-coast quantum network for Canadian governments, businesses, academia, the health industry, and individuals.”

Today’s announcement includes funding for the following researchers:

  • Jay Cross, Cumming School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Precision Medicine and the Genetic Diseases of Childhood. ($4,668,405)
  • Eric Donovan, Faculty of Science. SMILE-UVI: a UV Imager for the International Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer Satellite ($10,000,000). This project includes partnership / CFI envelope from Athabasca University.
  • Bruce Pike, Cumming School of Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute. MR Guided Focused Ultrasound Research Platform ($3,200,000)
  • Wolfgang Tittel, Faculty of Science. QNET - a Quantum Network Research Facility" ($2,710,526). This project includes partnership / CFI envelope from the University of Alberta.
  • Gerald Zamponi, Cumming School of Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Program in Neural-immune Interactions for Studies of Visceral Pain and Inflammation ($1,336,853)
  • Richard Wanner (led by McMaster University), Faculty of Arts, Canadian Research Data Centre Network, $126,523 (total national CFI project $2,687,869)