Highlights of Federal Budget 2018 (PDAD&C #64)

From: Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research & Innovation
Andrew Thomson, Chief of Government Relations
Date: March 1, 2018
Re: Highlights of Federal Budget 2018 (PDAD&C #64)

Tuesday’s federal budget provided a significant multi-year boost to the granting councils and related federal research entities.

After a year of concerted advocacy efforts among Canada’s universities to support the recommendations of the government’s Fundamental Science Review Panel, we’re pleased that this federal budget shows growing recognition for the role of universities in advancing knowledge to strengthen Canada’s economic, social, and cultural fabric. We wish to thank the University of Toronto community for its efforts in raising awareness of their work and the need for support.

These investments make important inroads to reversing the declining trend in R&D investments by the Canadian government as a percentage of GDP. In particular, key highlights of the budget include:

  • $1.2 billion over five years in new funding to the tri-councils including:
    • $354.7 million for CIHR;
    • $354.7 million for NSERC;
    • $215.5 million for SSHRC;
    • $21 million to increase diversity in science;
    • $275 million for a new tri-council international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking, and higher-risk research fund.
  • The introduction of new chairs through the Canada Research Chair program, with an investment of $210 million over five years to better support early-career researchers, while increasing diversity and creating more opportunity for women among nominated researchers.
  • A commitment to establish permanent funding for the Canada Foundation for Innovation by 2023-24, and $763 million over five years starting in 2018-19 for scientific research infrastructure. This includes $160 million for increased support to Canada’s nationally important research facilities through the Foundation’s Major Science Initiatives Fund.
  • New funding for a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy to deliver more open and equitable access to advanced computing and big data resources to researchers across Canada.

While these investments do not reflect the full level of recommendations made by the Naylor Panel, they do offer a valuable positive narrative for on-going discussions with the government.

For additional information, please refer to the U of T News story. We will share further details on these programs as they become available.