PARTNERSHIP GIVES MAJOR BOOST TO SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCHERS
Saskatchewan’s health research community took a big step forward today when Health Minister Pat Atkinson, Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon and Dr. Henry Friesen, President of the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC), announced a $10-million, five-year regional partnership program that will help retain health researchers in Saskatchewan and attract new talent to the province.
The Province of Saskatchewan has committed $1 million annually to the program and the MRC will match the provincial contribution over the five years of the program. Saskatchewan Health and the Health Services Utilization and Research Commission will contribute a total of $750,000 annually while Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development will fund $250,000 per year.
"Saskatchewan has always had the brains and talent for excellent research," Atkinson said. "Now we will strengthen the funding opportunities as well. This is a milestone day for our research community, thanks to the initiative of the MRC and the vision of the other partners in the program who recognized the potential of our researchers and took action to fulfil their promise."
The MRC Regional Partnership Program ensures greater opportunity for researchers to obtain funding for projects which can range from genes to population health, from the human body to the health system.
"These investments in innovative health research will create opportunities for our scientists and young graduates -- our best and brightest minds," MacKinnon said. "This new funding will help them create new health products and new technologies. It will also enable them to contribute in a major way to the culture of research excellence and the knowledge-based economy we are building here in Saskatchewan."
Researchers will submit their proposals to the MRC using existing MRC guidelines and procedures. The $10 million from the Regional Partnership Program will be used to support health research projects which are judged to be worth funding through the MRC's peer review process but do not receive other MRC funding.
"This partnership will build health research capacity and enhance Saskatchewan's reputation as a centre for quality health research initiatives," Dr. Friesen said. "Canadian scientists who aspire to international excellence can be confident that their future is here at home."
Saskatchewan Health’s contribution to the program increases its direct investment in health research to more than $5.3 million annually, an increase of 68 per cent since 1991.
For more information, contact:
Regina, Phone: (306) 787-4088
Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development
Regina, Phone: (306) 787-1691
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