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Canada allocates $1.3bn for research capital

The Canadian government is to provide a major boost to research infrastructure funding, but research policy experts are questioning claims that the funding increase amounts to a record.

The budget, released on 21 April, includes 1.33 billion Canadian dollars for research infrastructure over six years through the Canada Foundation for Innovation. There is also a modest increase of $46 million a year split between the three main research funding councils and $54.6m over four years for the innovation training organisation Mitacs. The budget will be the first not to run a deficit since 2008 and the last before elections expected this autumn. 

But an analysis by the consultancy Higher Education Strategy Associates called the budget “moderately disappointing” for research. Funding for the research councils will actually remain flat this year, with the $46m boost not taking effect until 2016-17—and the new money is largely reserved for research dedicated to industry priorities and conducted in partnership with businesses.

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