A total of 36 institutions applied to the Fund in Inaugural Competition 1. The applications represented a total of 42 scientific strategy proposals. Each proposal underwent a multilevel peer review process that included: evaluation of scientific merit and strategic relevance by external experts, and merit assessment by expert review panels, based on all three selection criteria. Subsequently, institutions’ complete applications underwent strategic review by the selection board, which focused on strategic relevance to Canada and the quality of the institution’s implementation plan.
Each scientific strategy proposal was assigned to one of four review panels, each of which was composed of leading Canadian and international experts. The selection board is composed of distinguished Canadian and international leaders.
The Fund’s steering committee approved the final selection of the following five Inaugural Competition 1 applications:
Award Amount: $98,021,000 over seven years
Title: Sentinel North
Sentinel North will build on the Université Laval’s cutting-edge capacity in Arctic sciences, optics-photonics, and cardiometabolic and brain health. This multisector initiative will explore critical components of the coupled human-environment system, and will create transformative technologies to support sustainable development and health in the vast Canadian North.
Université de Sherbrooke
Award Amount: $33,517,000 over seven years
Title: Innovation, Partnership and Entrepreneurship Strategy: From Quantum Science to Quantum Technologies
Quantum science is the basis for revolutionary changes in information processing, as well as in advanced materials design and fabrication. By creating a unique synergy between quantum materials and quantum information science—based on their common subset of experimental tools and their common intellectual basis—this Université de Sherbrooke initiative will advance Canada’s position as a key player in this revolution.
The University of British Columbia
Award Amount: $66,539,000 over seven years
Title: UBC Institutes for Global Research Excellence (GREx): Quantum Materials and Future Technologies
The University of British Columbia (UBC) Quantum Matter Institute is already recognized for world-class research excellence in quantum materials. With this award, the university aims to propel the institute to the very forefront of its field internationally. Quantum materials evoke the most profound scientific questions challenging condensed matter physics, and are widely expected to lead technological revolutions. These materials have the potential to spawn entirely new industries in Canada, in areas such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, medicine, and sustainable energy.
University of Saskatchewan
Award Amount: $37,240,000 over seven years
Title: Designing Crops for Global Food Security
The University of Saskatchewan will build on its internationally renowned food security strengths to drive transformative innovation in “by-design” plant breeding. The initiative will use imaging and computer technology to digitize desired crop traits (phenotypes) and link them to specific genes. The results will accelerate crop development, bolster Canada’s agricultural leadership, and improve global food security.
University of Toronto
Award Amount: $113,976,000 over seven years
Title: Medicine by Design
The University of Toronto will bridge existing peaks of excellence within the regenerative medicine ecosystem in Toronto and Canada through new talent, partnerships and cross-cutting research and development platforms. This initiative will create a holistic pipeline linking discovery science to commercial outputs across all biological scales—establishing a globally unique capacity within a single cluster.