Industrial Research and Innovation Fund
Government committed to research
By Deborah Inkpen
The Provincial Government’s white paper outlined plans to continue its support of the institution’s research capacity through its Industrial Research and Innovation Fund (IRIF). The government committed to a substantial increase to the fund in the amount of $22.5 million over the next three years.
The fund will provide matching and start-up funds that will attract further federal investments in research at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic, budgeted at: $5 million for fiscal year 2005/06, $7.5 million for fiscal year 2006/07 and $10 million for fiscal year 2007/08.
The fund will help the university leverage more dollars, thereby enhancing its research activities and contribution to the provincial economy.
“IRIF will enable Memorial University to remain competitive with other Canadian institutions and pursue additional federal contributions so that the indirect costs associated with research supported by federal granting councils can be adequately funded,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research).
Dr. Loomis added that the addition of start-up funds “will greatly aid in the university’s ability to attract new faculty.”
The provincial government’s aim in establishing the fund was intended to leverage significant new research and development (R&D) investments from federal institutions, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as well as the private sector to help close the innovation gap between Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada. Strategic partnerships between government, Memorial University, other provincial research institutions and the private sector will also be encouraged through this initiative to ensure the investments made have maximum value to the economy and take full advantage of potential commercialization opportunities wherever possible.
IRIF was developed to support research and development investments in targeted, high-growth clusters offering significant long-term economic development potential in such areas as advanced manufacturing, marine technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical research, value-added natural resources, and the oil and gas industry.