McMaster submits 13 proposals for CFI 2000


McMaster has submitted 13 project proposals in its application to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The proposals fall into three separate categories: major applications, minor applications and inter-institutional submissions.

The major applications include a $32.48-million proposal for a Centre for Molecular Medicine and Health, led by Jack Gauldie, a professor and chair of pathology and molecular medicine. That proposal is actually a resubmission of McMaster's highest priority proposal, which was submitted in the first competition.

It is designated as a strategic proposal for the University and is expected have a major impact on both the Faculties of Science and Health Sciences. The application is designed to provide the infrastructure for the recent Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF) award of $6.6-million for research in this area.

A proposal was also submitted for a Biomolecular Interactions Initiative, headed by chemistry professor Brian McCarry. The proposed $12.98-million project would provide the infrastructure for a research program in chemistry and biochemistry. An extension of a previous CFI award, it would bridge at least two strategic areas of the University.

The other major proposals were:

* a $6.6-million application for a Communication Technology Research Centre, led by electrical & computer engineering professor Max Wong; and

* a $1.1-million proposal for a MicroPET Imager for Medical and Biological Research to be part of the newly established Institute for Applied Radiation Science.

CFI was created by the federal government in February 1997 to fund innovative research in Canada. CFI provides 40 per cent of the eligible infrastructure expenditures.

According to Gerhard Gerber, vie-president research and international affairs, in the past, McMaster has provided a commitment to find the remaining 60 per cent in some way. In order to do this, the Board of Governors passed a motion authorizing the use of up to $15 million of endowment funds for McMaster's contribution towards proposals.

As a result of intensive lobbying by Ontario universities, during the last round of applications, the provincial government established the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), which has automatically matched all CFI awards thus far. That reduces the actual University exposure to 20 per cent of the total budget.