FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, March 20, 2019 – Budget 2019 strengthens the federal government’s commitment to the research environment and a highly skilled workforce, which are the cornerstones of a globally competitive knowledge economy. Investing in the Middle Class, Budget 2019 makes strategic investments in critical areas of health research and health innovation that will strengthen Canada’s research and science base, fuel the next generation of innovations, create new industries, spur job creation and fuel economic growth.
“Research Canada welcomes the $114 million over five years starting in 2019–20, to the federal granting councils to create 500 more master’s level scholarship awards annually and 167 more three-year doctoral scholarship awards annually through the Canada Graduate Scholarship program,” says Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair of Research Canada and Vice President of Research for Vancouver Coastal Health and Executive Director of VCH Research Institute. “Direct federal awards are an essential part of support for many graduate students and trainees. This investment in the next generation of highly skilled researchers sends the message that Canada values and supports developing researchers and is committed to providing funds that not only assist them, but indirectly support the projects of which they are a part.”
Investments to ensure that Indigenous students have better access to post-secondary education, and more support to ensure that they can succeed during their studies are welcome, notably the $824.0 million over ten years, starting in 2019–20, and $61.8 million ongoing in support of Indigenous distinctions-based post-secondary education.
Budget 2019 also commits to investments and legislative change that will modernize regulatory standards, to help accelerate the pace of innovation and deliver impact to patients sooner. “Approving new products and services faster, simplifying regulations and reducing costs for our health and bioscience industries through a harmonized regulatory regime can only build bridges between industry and regulators and foster innovation,” says Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.
To better support small and growing companies, Research Canada was pleased to see the elimination of the income threshold for accessing enhanced credit through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program. This move will help to ensure that small and medium-sized innovative companies can take business to the next level.
Research Canada applauds the $18 million investment over three years in the Stem Cell Network which translates stem cell research into clinical applications and commercial products as well as the $100.5 million investment over five years starting in 2020-21 in Genome Canada.
Research Canada was extremely pleased with Budget 2019’s investment of $25 million over 10 years, starting in 2020–21 in Veteran Health Research through the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR), which improves the way that Canada cares for members of the military, veterans and their families.
Research Canada looks forward to continuing our work with the Government of Canada to better understand the Strategic Science Fund, which will be the Government’s key new tool to support third-party science and research organizations. We also look forward to discussing research solutions in light of the important investments in Budget 2019 in opioid treatment and dementia through the National Dementia Strategy. We also hope to have further discussion with the government regarding the role of post-doctoral students and the importance of further supporting their research and careers within and outside of academe.
About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit rc-rc.ca.
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Manager of Policy and Public Affairs