Feeling the love for research and development in Canada

It's Valentine's Day... and we are pleased to see the federal government showing a little love for research and innovation in Canada.

Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unveiled the details of the 2014 Budget in the House of Commons on Tuesday. The Government's Economic Action Plan 2014 includes measures to support jobs and growth, protect consumers, and invest in infrastructure and transportation. The Government also confirmed that it is on track to return to a balanced budget in 2015.

To read more, visit www.budget.gc.ca

From Lilly's perspective, it was great to see substantial investments in advanced research and innovation. Budget 2014 establishes the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a $1.5 billion investment over 10 years, which will begin in 2015-2016. This fund will help position Canada as a world leader in research and innovation. The budget also included "the largest annual increase in funding for research through the granting councils in over a decade," through an additional $46 million per year, toward both advanced research and the indirect cost of research, plus an additional $126 million over five years for the TRIUMF research facility at UBC.

Read more details on advanced research and innovation funding here.

Female ScienceOf the $46 million that will be allocated to Canada's granting councils, Budget 2014 outlines that $15 million per year will go to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for the expansion of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging and other health research priorities. As you may remember from our previous blog post, Canada, along with its G8 counterparts, has committed to support research to find a cure for dementia by 2025. The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging is a critical step in the fight against dementia.

Read more about Canada's commitment to increase dementia research funding: Canada Showing International Leadership at G8 Dementia Summit

Finally, we join with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and many others in applauding the government's recognition of the value of research and innovation to Canada. In his Globe and Mail op-ed this week, Chair of the AUCC and President of the University of Manitoba, David T. Barnard, explains why this funding is so significant.

Read his op-ed here: Canada set to lead the world in research and innovation