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Here they come
Huge boost to new research
By Dave Yasvinski
Western will soon receive a $12.1 million boost in funding thanks, in part, to the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
The CFI announced last week that four of the seven research proposals Western submitted have received approval, two have been turned down and the last one is still under review. Western will receive $4.8 million from the foundation for these projects.
The CFI was established in 1997 by the federal government to help promote research at universities and other institutions country-wide through matched funding. Western's four approved proposals were among the 59 approved by the CFI from 23 institutions.
"These contributions are aimed at enabling institutions to build on research in primary areas and undertake ground breaking topics," said Pierre Normand, communications advisor for the CFI.
These are the results of the first part of the institutional innovations competition, Normand added. The results from the second part will be announced following another committee review in June.
"It's huge," said Western's VP-research Bill Bridger. "It is the beginning of a substantial chunk of money coming to Western to make the research infrastructure state of the art. It's the kind of cash we never would have been able to access by other means."
Bridger explained the $4.8 million coming from the CFI represents 40 per cent of the cost of Western's four projects. The provincial government will match that 40 per cent and the other 20 per cent which has already been secured by Western represents a total funding of $12.1 million.
The last proposal still under review was the largest one submitted by Western, Bridger said. Because it makes a request for over $4 million, a site visit from the CFI is required. "I think the chances are extremely high that some sizable portion of this will be approved," he said.
Frederick Keenan, coordinator of research infrastructure programs at Western, said he was ecstatic over what this funding means for Western. "What's imbedded in these projects is the next decade of collaborative research at Western it's terribly important," he said.
This will provide a huge shot in the arm for the university and research in general, said Western's VP-academic Greg Moran. "This means a great deal to us. We'll be better able to hang on to our best members of faculty," he said.
Moran added Western did as well as, if not better than, other schools.
"We did better than the University of Toronto," Keenan said. "That fills me with glee."