The federal government has announced a series of measures to support health sciences, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 23 – Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Science to Fight COVID-19

The Prime Minister announced support to quickly mobilize Canadian researchers to support countermeasures to combat COVID-19, including vaccines and other treatments.  He outlined some projects that would be funded under the previously announced $275 million initiative:

  • $192 million in new projects that will be prioritized under the new Strategic Innovation Fund COVID-19 stream to deliver direct support to Canadian companies for large-scale projects. These companies include AbCellera and Medicago.
  • $23 million for the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac)
  • $15 million for the National Research Council of Canada to upgrade its Human Health Therapeutics facility.
  • Support for BlueDot, a Toronto-based digital health firm, with a newly-developed global early warning technology for infectious diseases.

March 19 – Government of Canada funds 49 additional COVID-19 research projects

A list of funded projects can be found here.

Fellow who received funding in this round:

  • Guy Boivin (Université Laval)
  • Timothy Caulfield (University of Alberta)
  • Shaf Keshavjee (Unity Health Toronto)

March 11 – Prime Minister outlines Canada’s COVID-19 response

The Prime Minister announced a whole-of-government response to COVID-19 through a $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund.  This included:

  • Enhancing Canada’s capacity in research and development, including research on medical countermeasures, including antivirals, vaccine development and support for clinical trials, by providing $275 million in additional funding building on top of the recent $27 million announcement to fund coronavirus research in Canada.

March 6 – Government of Canada invests $27M in coronavirus research.

A list of funded projects can be found here.  Further information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Rapid Research Funding Opportunity can be found here.

Fellows who received funding:

  • Scott Halperin (Dalhousie University
  • Prabhat Jha (Unity Health Toronto)
  • Ronald Labonte (University of Ottawa)
  • Kelley Lee (Simon Fraser University)
  • Haibo Zhang (Unity Health Toronto)