Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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Networks of Centres of Excellence program

Networks of Centres of Excellence program


Finding solutions to major social, economic or health issues calls for a collaborative approach and a wide range of research expertise. Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds in many disciplines and sectors to solve these critical issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale academically led research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural, and social scientists and engineers. Partners from industry, government and not-for-profit organizations contribute additional expertise and contribute nearly $90 million per year of cash and in kind support. International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some within the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

NCEs focus on issues that are critical to Canadians, and to the world by:

  • Mobilizing multi-disciplinary research capacity from across Canada
  • Engaging partners from multiple academic institutions and various public and private-sector organizations
  • Training the next generation of highly qualified people – more than 36,000 to date
  • Working with end users to accelerate the creation and application of new knowledge
  • Increasing collaboration between researchers in Canada and abroad

Quick facts

  • The NCE was created in 1989 as a joint initiative of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Industry Canada and Health Canada.
  • In addition to the traditional NCE networks, the program includes the NCE Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) and the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence (CIRCE) initiatives.
  • In 2013-14, network activities involved the participation of more than 1,900 public and private sector organizations in Canada and abroad.

Learn more


Rick Schwartzburg
Tel.: 613-943-7616