The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, today announced $163 million to establish 11 new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs). These centres will share $163 million to pursue major discoveries and bring them to the marketplace over the next five years.

"Today’s announcement marks a milestone in Canadian research history," said Minister Prentice. "The technologies, therapies, services and products generated by these new centres will help improve the well-being of all Canadians while positioning Canada at the forefront of priority research areas. As we stated in our Science and Technology Strategy, this Government is committed to encouraging these exciting, multidisciplinary partnerships between the private, academic and public sectors."

The 11 CECRs and their funding amounts are:

  • Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC), Sarnia, ON – $14.95 million
  • Centre for the Commercialization of Research (CCR), Ottawa, ON – $14.95 million
  • Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPM), Montreal, QC – $13.8 million
  • Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), Hamilton, ON – $14.95 million
  • Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer CECR in Therapeutics Discovery (IRICoR), Montreal, QC – $14.95 million
  • MaRS Innovation, Toronto, ON – $14.95 million
  • The Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRIADD), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), Saskatoon, SK – $14.95 million
  • CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure (PROOF), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million

More information on each Centre is provided in the backgrounder.

Budget 2007 set aside $195 million over the next two years to create new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research in four priority areas: environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and life sciences, and information and communication technologies. The program will support the operating and commercialization costs of the centres.

These 11 CECRs join seven Centres of Excellence announced in Budget 2007. The Government invested $105 million in these seven centres, located in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The CECR program is a cornerstone of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy. One of the goals of the strategy, launched in May 2007, is to encourage more private sector investment in research and development. The strategy also emphasizes capitalizing on our people, knowledge and entrepreneurial advantages to build a stronger Canadian society and economy.

The CECR competition and program are administered by the secretariat of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), successful research partnerships between universities, industry, not-for-profit organizations and government. The NCE program is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research—in partnership with Industry Canada.

"The NCE program is proud to be a part of the Government's vision for a more prosperous, advanced and competitive Canada," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the NCE Steering Committee and President of NSERC. "We welcome these 11 CECRs into the NCE family. We look forward to working with their directors, researchers and partners to help them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

As part of today's event, Dr. Fortier also announced the members of the Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB). This group of respected industry leaders was established at the onset of the CECR competition to assess the economic and commercial benefits and opportunities of each proposal and to provide recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee, who determined the final selection. The PSAB members are:

  • The Honourable Perrin Beatty (Chair), President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Sue Abu-Hakima, President/CEO, Amika Mobile Corporation
  • Mr. Alan Bernardi (alternate), Director, Bell University Laboratories
  • Mr. James E.C. Carter, former President, Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Mr. J. Haig deB. Farris, President, Fractal Capital Corp.
  • Dr. Kevin O’Brien Fehr, Director, Basic Research and Genetics, GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
  • Mr. Fred Hemphill (alternate), former Vice President, Technology Project Development and Research, Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Ms. Francine Laurent , former President, Innovatech Québec
  • Mr. Raymond Leduc, Director, IBM plant, Bromont, QC
  • Mr. Donald Lush, President, Environmental Bio-detection Products Inc.
  • Mr. Keith Stoodley, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Provincial Aerospace Group of Companies
  • Mr. Jeff Turner, CEO, Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics Inc.