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With a pledge of CAD 1.5 billion (EUR 984 million) for the next ten years, the Canadian government’s budgetary plan has received significant attention from the scientific community. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund will provide up to CAD 200 million (EUR 131 million) annually, starting with a disbursement of CAD 50 million (EUR 33 million) in 2015.
Canada’s large-scale research investment aims at promoting strategic research priorities in order to support Canada's excellence in key areas. In the long run, the Research Excellence Fund should ensure long-term economic advantages for Canada and position the country as a leading player in research and science. An important point stressed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), which praised the exceptional investment in university research and is happy to see a serious commitment to research and science.
Although research has been only one of the few lucky areas benefiting from an expenditure increase, reactions have not been exclusively positive. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) pointed out that the new funding provisions barely keep up with inflation and that the responsibility for most of the part of the funding will be shifted to future governments.