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Canadian researchers and innovators work together to build healthier communities

Government of Canada invests nearly $80 million to support stronger partnerships between researchers and entrepreneurs

July 30, 2018 – Hamilton, Ontario

Every day, scientists are coming up with life-saving technologies. By helping these researchers turn their ideas into a reality, we can grow businesses, support jobs and improve the health of all Canadians.

To support these solution-oriented clusters of scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, today announced five grants, totaling $79.8 million, to be delivered through the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program. The five hubs are located in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario; Montréal, Quebec; and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Minister Duncan made the announcement at McMaster University, where the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) is located. The CPDC works with industry and academic partners to provide the expertise and infrastructure needed to develop and manufacture radiopharmaceuticals, a special type of drug that gives off energy and helps doctors diagnose diseases at an earlier stage. Based on their diagnosis, they can then choose the best therapy for individual patients with diseases such as heart disorders and cancer.

With this funding, the CPDC will be able to launch new manufacturing and training initiatives that will expand its work in the rapidly growing radiopharmaceutical industry. Not only will this support high-tech jobs, it will ensure Canadians have access to these innovative solutions that detect and treat their diseases sooner.


“Today we are investing in science for healthier communities. The five research centres awarded today mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial talent to transform new discoveries into concrete products, services and processes to improve our lives.  By matching clusters of research expertise with business leaders, these centres will help unleash the potential of Canadian innovation.”
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“I would like to congratulate the successful applicants of the most recent CECR program competition. We are pleased to help these centres bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization to enable the sustainable development of natural resources in the North and create healthier communities in Canada. These connections, forged between clusters of research expertise and the business community, harness Canada’s best talent to provide industry-relevant technologies, products and services that will benefit us all.“
Jean Saint-Vil, Associate Vice-President, Networks of Centres of Excellence

“On behalf of CPDC, I would like to thank the NCE-CECR program for their renewed and long term support. Along with funding from our longstanding partners at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the support and unique vision of McMaster University, and partnerships with leading academic and industry organizations, the CPDC has been able to foster Canadian innovation and commercialization. This includes creating new companies, attracting foreign investments and delivering lifesaving diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals to patients locally, nationally and internationally. Our team will use the new funding to support the commercialization of new Canadian technologies and position Canada at the forefront of the rapidly growing therapeutic medical isotope and radiopharmaceutical sector."
Dr. John Valliant , Founder, CPDC

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About NCE

The NCE is a joint initiative of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Health Canada. NCE has invested about $2 billion in research, commercialization and knowledge translation. As of 2017, NCE-funded networks and centres have helped train more than 54,700 highly qualified personnel, and created 160 spin-off companies and 2,150 start-up companies

Working with public and private sector partners, NCE programs help focus research capacity on social and economic challenges, commercialize and apply homegrown research breakthroughs, increase private-sector R&D, and train highly qualified people.
The internationally recognized Networks of Centres of Excellence suite of programs harnesses Canada’s best talent in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and health sciences.


Ann Marie Paquet                          
Press Secretary                                           
Office of the Minister of Science  
Tel.: 343-291-2692                 

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777

Mélissa Roy
Communications Advisor
Networks of Centres of Excellence
Tel.: 613-995-8824