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New Opportunities

Memorial University awarded $609,000 in CFI research infrastructure for promising New Opportunities researchers.

Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research) of Memorial University of Newfoundland, welcomed an investment of over $600,000 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for two new faculty members. Memorial has received $109,000 for an analytical x-ray facility for a materials science and engineering research project being led by Dr. John Shirokoff (Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science), and $499,999 for equipment in support of research on cellular signalling mechanisms in growth, development and disease led by Dr. Robert Gendron (Faculty of Medicine).

"This CFI funding makes available to our researchers new, state-of-the-art equipment that will significantly strengthen our competitiveness in research and innovation," said Dr. Loomis.

The analytical x-ray system will provide multi-purpose measurement capabilities for research in materials science and engineering, manufacturing (electronic and chemical), mining, oil and gas. The wide range of experiments made possible by this equipment presents important opportunities for Memorial. Studies of cell signalling in growth, development and disease could lead to major improvements in the health and quality of life of Canadians. This infrastructure will support molecular biological and proteomics based research studies of health and disease.

The announcement brings the number of recipients of the New Opportunities Fund awards to over 1600 nationwide. The New Opportunities Fund is designed to help launch the careers of new and talented faculty members. By attracting and retaining new, high-calibre researchers, the CFI is assisting Canada's efforts to strengthen research and training of high quality personnel at institutions across Canada.

"The New Opportunities Fund is helping universities to attract and retain some of Canada's exceptional researchers and provide them with the opportunity to accelerate their research careers," said Carmen Charette, senior vice-president of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"Building the capacity of our local researchers to do quality research is essential," said Gerry Byrne, MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte. "These researchers are leaders in their field and are helping to build the capacity needed to conduct quality research in our community."

"This investment in our nation's researchers will help strengthen Canada's capacity to innovate and to rank among the most innovative countries in the world," said Allan Rock, minister of Industry.

"Canada's researchers have tremendous talent," said Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development). "Providing them with state-of-the-art infrastructure further strengthens their capacity to achieve their research goals."

On March 4, 2003, a national announcement of over $17.7 million to provide funding to 26 universities and research institutions across Canada under the New Opportunities Fund was made by the CFI's senior vice-president, Carmen Charette.

This CFI investment of $17.7 million is being awarded through two funds: $13.7 million under the New Opportunities Fund, and a further $4 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund to help universities with the operating and maintenance costs of the research infrastructure. Unlike other CFI programs, the Infrastructure Operating Fund has no requirement for matching funds.

{Memorial University of Newfoundland}