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Ottawa's leadership in biomedical and health research has paid off

Montreal Canada is one of the world's top research nations, thanks to Ottawa's commitment to research and leadership role in funding biomedical and health research over the past 5 years, according to an article published today in the prestigious journal EMBO reports.

But to keep up the momentum and continue to grow in innovation and high-quality research, the federal government needs to develop new ambitious strategies to take full advantage of Canada's expertise and research infrastructure and capacity, according to authors Dr. John Bergeron and Dr. Sean Taylor of McGill University.

Funding for Canadian biomedical and health research grew from C$5.1 billion in 1999 to C$7.5 billion in 2003. The increased support was part of the federal government's plan to keep pace with international competition in countries like the United States and Japan and increase the capacities of universities to conduct high-quality research.

In a commitment to being one of the top five research nations in the world, the government created innovative new programs in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canada Research Chairs (CRC), and Genome Canada (GC) to support infrastructure, facilities and equipment, large scale institutional projects, attract thousands of new researchers and train postdoctoral fellows and students.

The injection of funding has had a measurable impact on economy and knowledge transfer. Since 1999, there has been a 50% increase in licenses and options, a 200% increase in income from licenses and a 40% increase in the number of new spin-off companies. Canadian scientists are also more present on the world scientific stage, with a 25% increase in the number of scientific articles produced by Canadian researchers.

"The progress has been phenomenal," said Dr. Bergeron, Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University, Director of the Mo
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Contact: Sandra McPherson
sandra.mcpherson@mcgill.ca
514-398-1902
McGill University
30-Jul-2004


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