Canada Foundation for Innovation – September 2016 VP Update

  • October 3, 2016
  • News

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) produces a periodic VP Update.  Research Administration has highlighted key information for your convenience.  This information is taken form the September 2016 Issue.  Addressed in this issue are:

  1. Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Sciences
  2. Refreshing the 2012-2017 Strategic Roadmap
  3. 2017 Innovation Fund Competition
  4. Update on the Cyberinfrastructure Initiative
  5. CFI Research Facilities Navigator
  6. Celebrating 20 Years of Supporting Canadian Research and Innovation

Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science

The Advisory Panel continued with work over the summer months and met with funding agencies and key stakeholders.  CFI will continue to work closely with the panel providing data and information on funded projects; funding mechanisms; merit-review processes/practices; and areas of existing and potential collaboration with other funding agencies.  In addition, CFI will provide answers and advice to questions recently solicited from funding agencies on CFI’s participation in this partnership will enable the panel to make sound evidence-based recommendations as part of its review mandate.

Refreshing the 2012-2017 Strategic Roadmap

In November 2011, CFI published its 2012-2017 Strategic Roadmap that laid out an ambitious vision anchored to six key strategic directions.  This document served CFI and the Canadian research community well.  However, new initiatives evolved of the past five years:

  • A new government
  • Oversight of CFI by Innovation Sciences and Economic Development
  • New Minister of Science and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
  • Strong support for science and innovation, including evidence-informed policy decisions
  • Government of Canada priority initiatives:  recruitment of Chief Science Officer, Canada’s Fundamental Science Review and the development of an Innovation Agenda

The CFI’s Board of Directors held a retreat in September to reflect and exchange on these and other emerging trends/shifts in the environment with the goal to formulate a set of clear and concise recommendations to the Government of Canada on how CFI can best continue supporting research and contribute to the innovation agenda in the future.  These recommendations will also serve to set the platform for CFI’s 2017-2022 Strategic Roadmap refresh.

2017 Innovation Fund Competition

The deadline for submitting Innovation Fund proposals is October 11, 2016.  Information to accompany CFI applications to this competition include: a signed cover letter; a list of proposals for which the institution is the administrative or collaborating institution, along with a short description of the internal decision-making process in identifying the proposals being submitted.

Institutions were informed in August about projects that may require face-to-face meetings with an expert committee – this will be confirmed post competition deadline.

Recruitment of members for expert and multidisciplinary assessment committees has already begun – approximately 75 expert committee meetings are anticipated to take place between November 2016 and mid February 2017.  Key dates are listed below:






October 11, 2016


Deadline for the submission of proposals


November 2016 to February 2017


Expert committee meetings


April 2017


Multidisciplinary assessment committee meetings


May 2017


Special multidisciplinary assessment committee meeting


June 2017


CFI Board decisions


Cyberinfrastructure Initiative – Challenge 1 Update

Plans are underway to launch a second competition of Challenge 1 with a Call for Proposals to be published in early 2017.  CFI will be looking for communities to come together to form national consortia and propose research data infrastructure projects that create tailored, shared and integrated data resources capable of enabling leading-edge research on significant scientific, social and economic questions.

Mobilizing research communities to make optimal use of research data. Given the importance for research communities to maximize their use of existing research data, CFI is looking at how to work with communities of researchers and interested stakeholders and organizations to better assess and define the community’s research data infrastructure needs by devising optimal ways of organizing and using collective research data resources.

CFI Research Facilities Navigator

Consultations with various industry associations has identified access to industry liaison offices at institutions is extremely helpful for companies looking to form research partnerships.  CFI’s research shows a comprehensive list of contacts does not exist.  As a result, consideration is being given to including a resource list on the CFI Research Facilities Navigator.  Institutions interested in having their industry liaison information included are encourage submit contact information, including: email, telephone number and address, to

Celebrating 20 Years of Supporting Canadian Research and Innovation

On September 20th, CFI launch its anniversary campaign “Research builds my community” that will run through to March 2017 highlighting how research supported by CFI is touching the lives of Canadians.

A number of photo galleries and videos about how research has built communities across Canada will be showcased on CIF’s website  Institutions are encouraged to promote these stories and others like it through social media using the campaign hashtag #CFI20yrs. 

CFI refreshed its website to help ensure a more user friendly navigation pathway, as well accessibility and adaptability from any type of device.  In addition, it includes a history section, that houses a timeline, a narrative history and podcast series about the origin story of CFI.