media release

Five SFU-led research projects share $21.7 million from CFI’s Innovation Fund

October 12, 2017

Tia O’Grady, Communications Manager, VP, Research office, 778.782.3550;
Marianne Meadahl, University Communications, 778.782.9017;

CFI website:

Projects led by SFU range from creating a centre for wearable biomedical technologies to immersive remote sensing communication

Five Simon Fraser University research projects will benefit from new infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) totaling $21.7 million. The federal contribution is expected to more than double through partner contributions over the next five years.

The Innovation Fund supports transformative infrastructure projects that underpin promising and innovative research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage. The fund assists research institutions to capitalize on their achievements and improve their standings in global research.

SFU’s funding is part of a larger CFI investment of more than $554 million in 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada. The announcement was made today by the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

This funding will significantly support leading SFU researchers to further conduct research and technology development that aligns with the University’s strategic priorities, enhances research capacity by creating partnerships and collaborations, and generates social, environmental, health and economic benefits to Canadians.

Centre for Wearable Biomedical Technologies. SFU project leader: Carlo Menon, professor, School of Engineering Science. Collaborating institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, University of British Columbia.
High-Momentum and High-Luminosity Muon Beam Lines for Molecular and Materials Science and Fundamental Muon Physics. SFU project leader:Jeff Sonier, professor and department chair, Department of Physics. Collaborating institutions: University of British Columbia, McMaster University, Mount Allison University, Université de Montréal.
The Silicon Quantum Leap: Tools for Building a Universal Quantum Computer. SFU project leader: Michael Thewalt, professor, Department of Physics. Collaborating institution: University of British Columbia.
Multi-scale Remote Sensing: From Imaging to Immersive Communications. SFU project leader: Rodney Vaughan, professor, School of Engineering Science. Collaborating institution: British Columbia Institute of Technology.
ATLAS Tier-1 Data Centre. SFU project leader: Michel Vetterli, professor, Department of Physics. Collaborating institutions: University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, TRIUMF, University of Alberta, York University, University of Toronto, Carleton University, University of Montreal and McGill University.

SFU is also collaborating on three projects led by other Canadian institutions. Those projects, and collaborating SFU researchers, include:
National Facility of Seismic Imaging. SFU project lead: Andy Calvert, professor, Department of Earth Sciences. Lead institution: Dalhousie University.
The CRDCN Transition to High Performance Computing: Liberating Data for Research and Policy. SFU project lead: Jane Friesen, professor, Department of Economics. Lead institution: McMaster University.
Upgrades to the ATLAS Detector at the Large Hadron Collider. SFU project lead: Bernd Stelzer, professor, SFU Department of Physics. Lead institution: University of Toronto.

Joy Johnson, SFU Vice-President, Research and International
“I am very proud of SFU’s remarkable achievement that places SFU within the top five institutions in Canada for this competition. The success of this competition further exemplifies SFU’s commitment to cutting-edge research and innovation. We applaud the Canada Foundation for Innovation for its investment and congratulate these researchers. SFU will continue to grow its capacity in research, innovation and knowledge mobilization.” 

Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation:
“The Innovation Fund encourages institutions and their researchers to think big and strive to be global leaders by conducting world-class research. This funding pushes researchers to aim higher in their pursuits by collaborating across disciplines, institutions and sectors. With this support, institutions can build on their current research strengths and set their sights on accelerating research that will create social, health, environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science:
“Our government understands that scientists need to have the best labs and tools if they’re going to make discoveries that will pave the way to a brighter future for all people. That’s why today’s funding announcement is so important; it gives scientists and their students the opportunity to further their research in areas where Canada has a competitive advantage. The discoveries, innovations and skills developed in these new, state-of-the-art labs will go a long way in improving our lives, our economy and our future prosperity.”

• The CFI contributes financially to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high quality research.
•  The CFI marks an important milestone with this announcement, having funded more than 10,000 projects since it began in 1997.


As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university, to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada's leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities, Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 150,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


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