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Government of Canada Committed to Research and Innovation: Minister of State Rickford Celebrates Funding at University of Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – Oct. 7, 2013 – Young researchers will be provided with the training opportunities necessary to help them transition into productive employees in the Canadian workforce, and their expertise will in turn help fulfill the needs of the private sector. The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today celebrated funding that will help the University of Manitoba develop an innovative training program to support more effective water management in northern and remote communities, thereby improving the health and quality of life of Canadians.

“Our government is investing in tomorrow’s leaders in science and technology to ensure the future prosperity of Canada,” said Minister of State Rickford. “By supporting initiatives that strengthen young people’s professional skills, we are renewing and expanding Canada’s supply of highly qualified people while assisting them in bringing their ideas to the Canadian labour force. We are also improving our global competitiveness by keeping the best and the brightest right here in Canada.”

“I am pleased to see the University of Manitoba benefit from our government’s support in research and innovation,” said Rod Bruinooge, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South. “Our government recognizes that building a strong economy through innovative projects, and with partners from various sectors, is vital to Canada’s future.”

On August 12, 2013, the government announced an investment of more than $24 million over six years in 15 initiatives through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program. This program helps science and engineering graduates acquire the valuable job skills necessary in today’s labour market. Funded networks will be led by teams of Canadian university researchers who will help students develop leadership, entrepreneurship, communication and project management skills.

The University of Manitoba received an important investment to support the CREATE H2O initiative for water and sanitation security. The aim of this initiative, which is being led by Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, is to educate the next generation of researchers and engineers about wastewater treatment, chemical contaminants in drinking water and the protection of watersheds. Students will work with engineering and environmental consulting firms and tribal councils to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructures on First Nations reserves.

“This team-based training is enabling students and post-doctoral fellows to gain valuable experience, learn practical skills, and engage in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and, in some cases, international research,” said Isabelle Blain, Vice-President of the Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate at NSERC. “Exposing our trainees to an innovative, collaborative training environment will prepare them to succeed in careers that contribute to the world’s top research.”

In its first three years, CREATE has supported more than 2,400 students and post-doctoral fellows, comprising 58 teams of researchers, through funding and training.

Since 2006, the government has provided nearly $9 billion in new funding for science, technology and the growth of innovative firms. Of this amount, over $6 billion has been in support of science and technology activities at post-secondary institutions, including increases in the budget of the Discovery Grants Program. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and the highly skilled workforce required for a more prosperous economy.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

More information on the CREATE Program is available on the NSERC website.

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State
(Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development
Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Media Relations
Industry Canada


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