CFI national funding announcement at SFU

January 15, 2013

SFU President Andrew Petter welcomed the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages to SFU Burnaby today, where he made a national announcement of over $215 million for research infrastructure at Canada's universities.

The Government of Canada is supporting 75 projects at 34 Canadian institutions through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and its Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds. Pierre Normand, CFI's Vice-President, External and Communications was on hand to celebrate the award recipients and to thank the federal government for its investment into Canada's research leaders.

Two SFU-led Leading Edge Fund projects were included in this announcement: the $7.7 million regional Prometheus Project in advanced materials science and engineering, and $1 million in upgrades to the national ATLAS-Canada data centre housed at TRIUMF in Vancouver.

The Prometheus Project, led by SFU Chemistry professor Neil Branda, builds on 14 years and over $110 million of strategic capacity and infrastructure development in materials science and engineering at its four partner institutions: SFU, BCIT, UBC, and the University of Victoria. The funding announced today will enable the acquisition of infrastructure needed to fill critical gaps between invention and innovation, and to meet the materials science needs of BC's industries.

The ATLAS Tier 1 Data Centre, led by SFU Physics professor Michel Vetterli, was established in 2006 through an initial investment of over $10 million from CFI and $4 million from the BC Knowledge Development Fund, and significant in-kind contributions from TRIUMF and industry partners. In 2011, CFI contributed an additional $3.3 million towards operations. The further $1 million announced today will upgrade the Centre's computing equipment, ensuring that ATLAS-Canada can continue to play a key role in two international projects at the cutting edge of physics and information and communication technologies: the ATLAS particle physics project at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, and the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

Dr. Mario Pinto, Vice-President, Research at SFU, applauded "CFI and the Government of Canada for its commitment to ensuring that Canada maintains its strong international reputation for science technology research through their continued investment in world-class research infrastructure at our universities."

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