The Government of New Brunswick has announced a $20 million investment over five years to support research and innovation in New Brunswick. The funding is a part of the government’s $80 million innovation strategy.
“Research and innovation is of paramount importance to help us accelerate economic growth as we rebuild New Brunswick,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy. “Today’s investment brings us a step closer to our goal of accelerating innovation-based entrepreneurship and creating the conditions for the commercialization of current and future research in public universities, colleges and research centres.”
Of the $20 million to be invested, $14 million will be allocated to the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Research Innovation Fund.
This fund invests in projects that expand the province’s innovation capacity and have the potential for commercialization. It also helps provincial researchers gain access to additional research dollars from various national agencies and industry.
The recent $20 million investment represents a threefold increase in support for leading-edge research in universities, colleges and research centres. The funding will allow the Innovation Foundation to support over 140 applied research projects and provide incentive for the hiring of up to 20 researchers in the province during the next five years.
“For every dollar the foundation invests in a project, the researcher can obtain between five and seven dollars more from other sources,” said Robert Hatheway, chair of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. “This investment in our Research Innovation Fund will create opportunities to get more New Brunswick innovation into the hands of industry and to create new companies.”
The foundation’s Research Technicians Initiative and the Research Assistantships Initiative will receive a $6 million investment over the next five years. This could represent up to 450 student research assistantships and 20 new research technicians.
“Innovation begins with education and learning,” said Soucy. “When instructors have the resources to undertake leading-edge research, what they learn finds its way into classrooms and labs and ultimately impacts the way students look at economic opportunities.”
Since its inception in 2003, the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation has invested $41 million and leveraged an additional $272 million in funding.