media release

Petter lauds federal research funding initiative

February 20, 2014

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Government release:

A new federal research initiative that will infuse $1.5 billion in funding into Canadian post-secondary institutions over the next decade will help ensure Canadians succeed in an increasingly competitive, global knowledge based economy, says Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter.

Details of the government’s proposed new Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) were highlighted by the Hon. Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson at SFU’s Surrey campus today.

The CFREF is part of the government’s Economic Action Plan 2014 and is expected to begin in 2015-16. The initiative aims to help Canadian post-secondary institutions excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada, and position them to compete with the best in the world for talent and breakthrough discoveries.

“Research is a key part of SFU’s vision as Canada’s ‘engaged university,’ committed to being a world leader in knowledge mobilization building on a strong foundation of fundamental research,” said Petter. “I commend the federal government for placing its confidence in Simon Fraser and other research universities to lead the way in creating the talent and generating the ideas that Canada requires.

“At a time when public finances are tight, it’s gratifying to see the federal government demonstrate an understanding that investments in advanced education and research are critical to Canada’s future well-being and prosperity.”

Combined with other federal programs, the CFREF will also help SFU deliver on its commitment to providing students with research pathways that connect the university to the workplace, Petter said.

Among examples, SFU Surrey researchers were recent recipients of more than $600,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support their research leadership in health and energy systems.

SFU is also leading projects in fuel cell and other clean energy technologies that are collectively worth more than $30 million and are creating jobs locally and globally, through collaborations with Daimler Benz in Burnaby and more recently, Indian Oil Corporation in New Delhi. Vice-President, Research Mario Pinto says the approach “exemplifies SFU’s innovation ecosystem.”

During his visit, the minister viewed demos of research currently underway at SFU’s Surrey campus, including projects related to clean energy, forensic crime analysis and cybercrime, chronic pain management, and helmet safety, as well as student innovations.

A similar event to celebrate the new fund was also held at the University of Toronto.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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