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Federal budget’s Research Excellence Fund huge step in the right direction: U of T president

(Photo courtesy the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

University of Toronto President Meric Gertler says the Government of Canada has taken a huge step in the right direction with investments in research and innovation and in particular the announcement of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in the federal budget.

This fund, which will grow to $200M annually, will support world-leading research at institutions right across Canada.

“This new fund will support research that leads to vital discoveries and will help us continue to attract the best minds from around the world,” said Gertler.  “That is good news for the University of Toronto and those engaged in fostering innovation and excellence.”

Gertler said the U of T and institutions around the country have been encouraging the federal government to create such a fund. He pointed out that Canada’s post-secondary institutions face stiff competition from institutions around the world where investments in research continue to grow. The new fund, he said, will give Canada a much stronger ability to meet that competition effectively.

The U of T president also thanked his colleagues in other universities for their joint support of the creation of the fund announced in the budget.

Gertler also welcomed the federal budget’s announcement of an increase in funding for the granting councils that support a significant amount of the research conducted by scholars at Canadian universities. The budget announced an additional $46 million annually for those councils, funding Gertler says will continue to support research excellence at the U of T.