Cannan: Funding Innovative Research

Funded projects will accelerate research into new ways to diagnose and treat all types of neurological and mental illnesses.

Dementia and other brain-related illnesses are a concern for an aging society like our own and that is why the federal government continues to make dementia and other brain related illnesses a priority.

On Sept. 12, 2014, my colleague, Minister of Health Rona Ambrose, along with Inez Jabalpurwala, president and CEO of Brain Canada, announced 32 projects being funded under the Canada Brain Research Fund.

Our government’s continued focus on brain related illnesses will no doubt be good news to folks like Maribeth Friesen, CEO of the Okanagan’s BrainTrust Canada and Nigel Brown, executive director of Sing for Your Life Foundation BC, who along with many others work tirelessly to improve the lives of those with a brain illness or injury.

The projects will accelerate innovative research that will advance our knowledge of and support the development of new ways to diagnose and treat all types of neurological and mental illnesses.

Following up on commitments made during the Global Dementia Legacy Event held in Ottawa September 11-12, three of the projects will explore neurode-generation.

Most recently, Budget 2014 set aside $15 million per year to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for the expansion of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), and other health research priorities.

With the CCNA initiative, Canada is joining forces with its G7 counterparts to support additional research with a view to finding a cure for dementia by 2025.

Funding for all 32 projects totals nearly $51.4 million, half provided by the federal government    and half provided by private donors, research institutions, provincial funding agencies, and charitable organizations partnering with the Brain Canada Foundation.

Our government recognizes the very real impact that neurological and mental health conditions have on Canadian families.

Between 2006 and 2013, we have invested more than $861 million in neuroscience research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

We are proud to support innovative new projects devoted to neurological and mental health research that will help to advance our knowledge on neurological and mental health.

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The next intake of the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative will open on Sept. 30, 2014, at noon (MDT) and close on Oct. 30, 2014 at noon (MDT).

WINN is a $100 million five-year federal initiative that offers repayable contributions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada to move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace, a key stage in the innovation process.

For more information please go to www.wd-deo.gc.ca or call 1-888-338-WEST (9378).

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National Forest Week is Sept. 21 to 27.

The following statistics on the state of our forests came across my desk this week.

Many of our communities rely on the forest industry to support the local economy and so we can be proud of the healthy state of our forests.

It indicates how well Canadians are doing in achieving responsible resource development, striking the right balance between our environmental and economic needs.

• Over 40 per cent of the world’s certified forests are grown in Canada, where approximately 152 million hectares are recognized as being sustainably managed by one or more of three global certification systems.

• Less than 0.5 per cent of Canada’s forests are harvested annually to manufacture products for the domestic and international markets, and all forests harvested on public lands must be regenerated.

• The government of Canada’s $100-million Investment in the Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program is helping to drive innovation and transformation in the forest sector, leading to a more resilient industry, with a diverse and higher-value forest product mix.

• Since 2010, 11 projects have been announced under the IFIT program, helping bring Canadian ideas from laboratories into the marketplace, with products such as bioenergy from wood waste, engineered wood products that will revolutionize the construction of buildings, and high-quality hardwood flooring from low-quality forest resources, among others.

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