The Canadian Council of Chief Executives congratulates the recipients of the first round of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) awards, valued at $350 million.  Launched by the federal government in December 2014, CFREF will invest a total of $1.5 billion into Canadian universities over the next decade. The grants target strategically important research areas, including advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, natural resources and energy, and environment and agriculture.

“To thrive in this new, more competitive, knowledge-based environment, Canada must ensure that our research and innovation capabilities are among the world’s best,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.  “I’m pleased that so many of the successful CFREF applications include partnerships with the private sector. The awards granted this week highlight how deeper collaboration between businesses and post-secondary institutions are critical to Canada’s economic performance.”

In April 2015, the CCCE launched the Canadian Business/Higher Education Roundtable. Composed of 27 leaders from the private sector, universities, colleges and polytechnics, the Roundtable’s mission is to strengthen Canada’s economic and human capital performance by deepening collaboration and harnessing the strengths of our world-class companies and post-secondary institutions.

Founded in 1976, the CCCE is a non-partisan organization that engages in public policy research, consultation and advocacy. Its members lead companies that collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians, administer $7.5 trillion in assets, have annual revenues in excess of $1.1 trillion and are responsible for most of Canada’s private-sector exports, investment and training.