BC’s Research Universities Welcome Federal Government Research Investments in 2014 Budget

Victoria, BC – The Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC) applauded the Government of Canada for the significant investments in research announced in Budget 2014. These investments will enable BC’s research universities to continue to excel in developing world-class knowledge and talent.

“BC universities are world leaders in research and innovation, contributing to a stronger economy and a healthier society right here at home,” said Professor Stephen Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of British Columbia and Chair of RUCBC. “Today’s budget helps us build on that record of success, giving our researchers the support they need to save lives, help businesses compete and create jobs, and contribute to stronger communities in every corner of the province.”

Budget 2014 established the Canada First Research Excellence Fund with a ten-year, $1.5 billion investment beginning in 2015-16. In addition, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will receive an additional $37 million a year for advanced research and $9 million for indirect costs on an ongoing basis. Budget 2014 also includes $8 million over two years to expand Mitacs’ Elevate program for post-doctoral industrial R&D fellowships as well as long-term funding for the TRIUMF physics laboratory. Both Mitacs and TRIUMF are located at UBC.

RUCBC President Robin Ciceri said that “With the support of the BC Government, BC’s research universities successfully competed for over $400 million in federal research funding in 2011/12. In the last decade, BC’s researchers have increased their share of federal research funding at a rate greater than Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.”

“Research is an economic driver in BC,” said Toope. “With today’s federal budget that story of discovery will continue to build a better province for all British Columbians.”

RUCBC works with and on behalf of its members to improve the quality, accessibility and coordination of university education in British Columbia.