CFI bid to receive some shuffling
By Mark Brown
Western is currently working to meet a strict deadline to modify their existing proposals put before the Canada Foundation for Innovation to incorporate the cost of an Integrated Research Institute, to house these new projects.
CFI was established by the federal government in 1997 to invest in infrastructure for research and development in universities and other institutions across Canada.
Currently, CFI is in the process of evaluating the projects invited onto the second phase of the competition entitled "The Investment Innovation Fund of Regional/National Facilities," said Katie Nau, CFI's coordinator of institutional relations. Western currently has seven projects being considered for funding.
Frederick Keenan, coordinator for infrastructure programs for CFI and director of interdisciplinary research at Western, said the university has to re-submit their proposals to CFI by Jan. 8. The university has set an internal deadline of Dec. 11 to determine the requirements needed for their seven remaining proposals.
Western was advised by CFI to incorporate the cost of the IRI with the seven proposed projects the building would house, Keenan explained. The CFI coordinators are trying to determine the type of space needed to accommodate the proposed projects, he added. "It would be premature to go to an architect until we know what projects will be funded by CFI," Keenan said.
"What CFI wants to know is how many square feet we require," said Bill Bridger, VP-research.
Dave Riddell, director of physical plant, will be responsible for estimating the cost to house the projects before CFI. "I am just waiting for them to confirm the space requirements," he explained.
Nau said they are currently waiting for the requests to come back before they make their final decision on what programs to fund. "We are expecting $700 million in requests but we only have $370 million to award."
CFI will announce the projects selected to receive funding beginning in March, she added.
If the IRI is funded by CFI, it will replace the current Biochemistry Building which was originally constructed as a temporary building, Keenan said.