B.C. shows fastest growth attracting research dollars, new figures show

British Columbia is outpacing the country attracting research dollars from Canadian granting agencies according to new figures released by the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC). Since 2000, B.C.’s research universities have increased their per capita share of federal research grants by 148 per cent – almost double the Canadian average and faster than any other province.

“Today’s new figures show us that B.C.’s research universities are leading the way attracting research dollars and talent to British Columbia,” says RUCBC Chair and Simon Fraser University President, Andrew Petter. “That success is translating into new jobs and a stronger, more diverse economy for all British Columbians.”

University of British Columbia President, Arvind Gupta pointed to the provincial government’s British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) as a key reason for B.C.’s success.

“Since its inception, the BCKDF has helped the province secure almost $1 billion in research infrastructure funding from the federal government and industry,” said Gupta. “And B.C.’s share of new funding from the Canadian Institute for Health Research has grown by 343% since 2001, more than double the national average.”

"In 2012 alone, B.C.'s research universities leveraged $700 million from sources outside the province," said University of Victoria President, Jamie Cassels. "Starting from a platform of excellence supported by the province, B.C.'s universities have been successful in attracting substantial additional funding from federal, private and non-profit partners, fueling innovation and discovery, jobs for our graduates and a strong provincial economy."

“Competition for this funding is intense,” said Royal Roads University President, Allan Cahoon. “Federal research funds could have gone elsewhere in Canada, but they are coming to B.C. because of the high quality of our research, our faculty and our students.”

“As a result of these investments, B.C.’s universities are working with industry to pull research to where it will have the most impact and university graduates are bringing new ideas into the marketplace. That’s driving innovation and creating new jobs in industries in all areas of the province,” said University of Northern British Columbia President, Daniel Weeks.

“Research and innovation are fundamental building blocks for economic success. And that’s not just for emerging sectors but for all of BC’s industries, including the natural resource sector, such as forestry and mining,” said Thompson Rivers University President, Alan Shaver.  “B.C.’s success attracting federal research dollars will help our province compete and win in today’s economy.”