The federal government will help universities defray the indirect costs of federal funding for research on a regular basis.
In 2001, Ottawa had made a one-time investment of $200 million to help universities defray the costs associated with new research projects, such as operations, maintenance and commercialization. Starting in 2003-04, Ottawa is making such investment ongoing with funding of $225 million.
The amount that individual universities receive will again be based on the total funding for direct support of research that an institution receives from the three federal granting agencies. SFU's initial one-time grant was $4.4 million in 2002 and is expected to be about the same this year.
Among other things, the money helped SFU provide infrastructure support for new faculty researchers, pay for the patenting of intellectual property and for prototype development en route to commercialization.
SFU VP-research Bruce Clayman notes that “although the funding is extremely welcome, the initial $200 million invested at Canadian universities was proportionately less than half that provided to U.S. researchers through their granting agencies. For Canada's innovation strategy to be truly competitive, enhanced support of both the direct and indirect costs of research in all disciplines is essential.”