Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) today announced the establishment of the Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, (ONCEE), a new Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

"The Government of Canada is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Mr. Saxton. "In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, we announced a $5.1 billion dollar investment in S&T initiatives such as the Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, which will help researchers get more of their innovations from the lab to the marketplace so Canadians and people around the world can benefit."

The ONCEE will manage two highly sophisticated underwater laboratories that will support transformative research on our oceans and create unprecedented economic and outreach opportunities. These innovations will dramatically improve the scientific communities' ablity to plan for and respond to sea-based disasters, including improved risk assessments and a better understanding of seismic and tsunami hazards.

The CECR program is a key commitment of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, announced in May 2007. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $5.1 billion in additional
funding toward science and technology initiatives.

This program is administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat. Launched in 1989, the NCE is an initiative of the three federal granting agencies-the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-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. "These new CECRs will work on important, multifaceted Canadian problems while bringing the very best ideas to the marketplace. We look forward to helping them achieve their maximum potential and impact."

This initiative is one of several new CECRs being put in place, representing an investment of $62.3 million over the next five years. This Centre and the others join the 11 CECRs announced last year by the Government of Canada.

The CECR program brings together partners from the academic, private and public sectors to advance research and facilitate commercialization of technologies, products and services. Mr. Saxton announced that the ONCEE will receive $6.5 million over five years.