SFU physics professor Mike Thewalt leads one of five SFU-led research projects that are set to receive a combined $21.7 million from the CFI Innovation Fund.

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

October 12, 2017
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Five SFU research projects—from creating a new centre for wearable biomedical technologies to studies in immersive remote sensing communication— will benefit from $21.7 million in new infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The federal contribution is expected to more than double over the next five years from partner contributions.

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.

“This remarkable achievement places SFU within the top five institutions in Canada for this competition,” notes Joy Johnson, SFU’s Vice-President, Research and International.

“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.”

The funding will significantly support leading SFU researchers to further conduct their 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.

Research projects led by SFU include:

• The creation of a Centre for Wearable Biomedical Technologies, led by Carlo Menon, professor, School of Engineering Science; collaborating institutions are BCIT, KPU and UBC;

• High-Momentum and High-Luminosity Muon Beam Lines for Molecular and Materials Science and Fundamental Muon Physics, led by Jeffrey Sonier, professor and department chair, Department of Physics; collaborating institutions are UBC, McMaster University, Mount Allison University, Université de Montréal;

• The Silicon Quantum Leap: Tools for Building a Universal Quantum Computer, led by Michael Thewalt, professor, Department of Physics; collaborating institution is UBC;

• Multi-scale Remote Sensing: From Imaging to Immersive Communications, led by Rodney Vaughn, professor, School of Engineering Science. Collaborating institution: collaborating institution is BCIT;

• ATLAS Tier-1 Data Centre, led by Michel Vetterli, professor, Department of Physics; collaborating institutions are University of Victoria, UBC, 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. These projects, and collaborating SFU researchers, include:

• National Facility of Seismic Imaging, with SFU project lead Andy Calvert, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, with Dalhousie University as the lead institution;

• The CRDCN Transition to High Performance Computing: Liberating Data for Research and Policy, with SFU project lead Jane Friesen, professor, Department of Economics. McMaster University is the lead institution;

• Upgrades to the ATLAS Detector at the Large Hadron Collider, with SFU project lead Bernd Stelzer, professor, SFU Department of Physics and University of Toronto as lead institution.

 “The Innovation Fund encourages institutions and their researchers to think big and strive to be global leaders by conducting world-class research,” says Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation. “This funding pushes researchers to aim higher in their pursuits by collaborating across disciplines, institutions and sectors.”

 Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, who made the announcement, says: "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 funding announcement marks a major milestone for the CFI, which has funded more than 10,000 projects since it began in 1997.