Supporting Leading-Edge Research and Innovation


  • Innovation is the key to Canada’s future prosperity.


  • Canada is ranked number one in the G-7 for our support for scientific research and development in our colleges, universities and other research institutes.


  • By supporting innovation in our post-secondary learning centers, we can foster a generation of the best minds to drive Canada’s economic success.


  • We are also investing in innovation across the private sector to create new technologies that will benefit Canadians and people around the world.


  • That’s why Economic Action Plan 2015 continues to make targeted investments to support Canada’s leading-edge research and innovation, with measures including:


  • Supporting Advanced Research Infrastructure at Universities and Colleges through new funding to the Canada Foundation for Innovation.


  • Creating a More Efficient and Effective National Digital Research Infrastructure System by investing in CANARIE, Canada’s world-class high-speed research and education network.


  • Supporting Research Across Disciplines by dedicating additional funding to the granting councils which will help fuel economic growth and respond to important social challenges and opportunities.


  • Helping to Build the International Thirty Meter Telescope to foster global cooperation in research and exploration, give our scientists access to the facilities, and provide important economic benefits to Canadian business.


  • Extending Canada’s Participation in the International Space Station Mission to 2024 to build on Canada’s strong legacy of supporting space exploration.


  • Developing the Next Generation of Innovation Leaders by supporting graduate-level industrial research and development internships through Mitacs.


  • Modernizing Canada’s Intellectual Property Framework helping Canadian innovators better protect their intellectual property


  • These measures build on our Government’s record of support thus far, which includes:


  • Making a landmark investment in post-secondary education by creating the Canada First Research Excellence Fund with $1.5 billion over the next decade. This investment will secure Canada’s international leadership in science and innovation.


  • Providing $49 million to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to help young entrepreneurs grow their firms.


  • Supporting leading edge research by investing $46 million a year ongoing to granting councils across Canada in support of advanced research and scientific discoveries.


  • Fostering world-leading research by investing $222 million in the TRIUMF physics laboratory to support leading research and launch cutting edge spin-off companies.


  • Providing $1.5 billion to support private sector research and development to strengthen the competitiveness of Canada’s aerospace sector through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.


  • Launching the Venture Capital Action Plan to increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds.


  • Supporting technological innovation by investing $15 million in support of the Institute of Quantum Computing for the research and commercialization of quantum technologies and $3 million to support the creation of the Open Data Institute.


  • Standing up for the automotive sector by investing $500 million in the Automotive Innovation Fund to support significant new projects in Canada


  • Investing more than $2.3 billion to support advanced research through the federal granting councils.


  • Providing over $800 million to support cutting-edge post-secondary research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.


  • Providing $2 billion for universities and colleges for repairs, maintenance and construction through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.


  • Supporting talent development through the Canada Excellence Research Chairs and the Industrial Research and Development Internships.


  • Investing $65 million for the permanent Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), which helps companies commercialize their technologies through testing and providing feedback on performance.


Canada ranks first among G-7 countries in higher education research and development spending as a share of the economy
Chart 3.1.3
Research and Development Investment in the Higher Education Sector, 2012

Note: Data are for 2012, which is the latest year for which they are available for all G-7 countries.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Main Science and Technology Indicators.