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Businesses across Canada innovate, grow and prosper when they build research partnerships in leading-edge labs

Research is my
business partner
Annual report 2019–20
This report should be cited as:
The Canada Foundation for Innovation, 2020. Research is my business
partner: Annual report 2019–20 / La Fondation canadienne pour
l’innovation, 2020. Mon partenaire d’aaires : la recherche – Rapport
annuel 2019-2020 Ottawa, Ontario.
© Canada Foundation for Innovation, 2020
1100-55 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa ON K1P 6L5
Telephone: 613.947.6496
ISBN: 978-1-926485-28-7
ISSN: 1712-0608
Research is my business partner
Businesses across Canada
innovate,grow and prosper when
they build research partnerships
inleading-edge labs
For small- and medium-sized enterprises, thecrux
ofstaying competitive is strategic change.
These trailblazers are rethinking previously accepted
ideas to unlock new opportunities, reimagining how
we do things to nd more sustainable, and more
protable, solutions or reinventing the technologies
we take for granted to make them more powerful
andopen up new markets.
And since the world is changing faster than ever,
businesses that can evolve will rise to the top, and
economies that support the research that fuels
those transformations willbe the ones to ourish.
Throughout this report, discover stories of Canadian
companies that have found the path to business
success by collaborating with world-class research labs.
What we do
How we do it
Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
John R. Evans Leaders Fund
College-Industry Innovation Fund
Innovation Fund
Infrastructure Operating Fund
Major Science Initiatives Fund
Analyzing corporate performance
Talking to our stakeholders
Focusing on results
Developing a common classication system for Canadian research
Financial highlights
Reviewing our investment strategy and policy
Remaining accountable
What we are working on for 2020–21
Since its creation in 1997 the CFI has committed, with the
generous support of the Government of Canada, almost
$8.3 billion
for 11,314 projects
at 160 research institutions
in 78 municipalities across Canada.
* As of March 31, 2020
What we do
Researchers need world-class research
infrastructure to collaborate on the global stage.
The Government of Canada created the Canada
Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in 1997 to fund the
tools essential for conducting outstanding research
in the 21st century. We support the evolving needs
ofCanadas universities, colleges, research hospitals
and non-prot research institutions across all
areas of research — from health and medicine, to
the natural sciences and engineering, to the social
sciences and humanities — by funding state-of-the-
art equipment, laboratories and facilities.
Our objectives
Increase Canadas capacity to carry
out important world-class scientic
research and technology development
Support economic growth and job creation,
as well as health and environmental
quality through innovation
Expand research and job opportunities
for the next generation of Canadian
researchers, technicians and entrepreneurs
Promote productive networks and
collaboration among Canadian universities,
colleges, research hospitals, non-prot
research institutions and the private sector
How we do it
The CFI maximizes the funding it receives from
the Government of Canada by contributing up to
40 percent of a project’s research infrastructure
costs. Institutions — the ultimate recipients of our
funding — secure the remaining 60 percent through
partnerships with provincial governments and other
public, private and non-prot organizations.
This means the nearly $8.3 billion invested by the
Government of Canada through the CFI has been
leveraged into a total investment of $19.9 billion
in research infrastructure in Canadian institutions
since we were created.
We have a well-established, rigorous and
independent merit-review process that rewards
research excellence. We rely on experts from
around the world to assess proposals from eligible
Canadian institutions on three main criteria: the
quality of the research and need for infrastructure;
the project’s contribution to strengthening the
capacity for innovation; and the potential benets
of the research to Canada.
Our process ensures that the infrastructure projects
that best meet these criteria receive funding.
Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
Our values
The CFI is committed to the principles of equity,
diversity and inclusion (EDI). In all our activities, we
recognize that a breadth of perspectives, skills and
experiences contributes to excellence in research.
We aim to ensure all CFI-eligible institutions have
the opportunity to access and benet from our
programs through our well-established, fair and
impartial practices.
We value attributes that allow institutions and their
researchers — from any background and from
anywhere — to succeed. This includes individual
attributes such as gender, language, culture and
career stage; institutional attributes such as size,
type and location; and attributes that encompass
the full spectrum of research, from basic to applied
and across all disciplines.
Our corporate culture encourages collaboration,
partnership, contributions and engagement among
diverse groups of people, institutions and areas
of research to maximize the potential of Canadas
research ecosystem.
We believe that nurturing an equitable, diverse
and inclusive culture is the responsibility of
everymember of the research ecosystem,
including funders, institutions, researchers,
experts and reviewers.
Roseann O’Reilly Runte
President and CEO
Ingrid Pickering
Chair of the Board
A year to be grateful for
state-of-the-art research
This year began on a celebratory note as we
launched a new competition of our agship fund,
the Innovation Fund, the goal of which is to keep
Canadian research at the forefront, ready to
address the most pressing global challenges.
It ended with a stark example of why it is so
criticalto do so.
The global coronavirus pandemic of 2020 underlined
the importance of keeping laboratories equipped
and ever-ready.
That importance reached across disciplines.
Vaccine researchers in laboratories all over the
country doubled down, as did those with expertise
in the social and policy implications of the
countermeasures used to contain the spread
of the virus.
Researchers in psychology oered innovative ways
to maintain mental health during a stressful time;
leaders in education technologies extended new
options to parents and schoolboards scrambling
to continue teaching students from a distance;
material scientists and engineers retooled
laboratory equipment and helped industry to
produce much-needed medical supplies.
Trying times remind us to be grateful. That these
laboratories had been established and were ready
to perform under the most urgent circumstances is
a reection of the importance of science globally in
the 21st century. It made us glad to live in Canada, a
country that knows the importance of research.
That we live in a time where we reap the rewards
ofrapid technology development to stay
connected, working and healthy was another
In February and March, as the world’s laboratories
mobilized to nd solutions, the critical role of the
CFI was clearer than ever.
This work will undoubtedly continue for many years
to come, as researchers grapple with the fallout of
the pandemic and how it has changed us all.
It is not just a matter of recovering. This experience
has also opened our eyes to many challenging and
interesting new areas of inquiry. That is the beauty
and the essence of research — as we discover
more, we open the door to new concepts, new ways
to serve humankind today and in the future. At the
CFI, we understand that a research community that
reects equity, diversity and inclusion brings us
much closer to those goals.
We look forward to the important ndings and
inspiring possibilities that new research and
knowledge will provide.
July 15
A second Exceptional Opportunities Fund
competition launches to invest $2million
in research related to COVID-19 at
colleges, polytechnics and Cégeps.
June 8
The CFI launches a competition to invest up to
$25million from the Exceptional Opportunities
Fund to support COVID-19-related research
from all disciplines at Canadian universities
andresearch hospitals.
April 3
The CFI provides up to $5 million to
optimize the research services oered by
VIDO-InterVac to the national research
community working against COVID-19.
March 24
The CFI’s Board of Directors meeting shifts
from in-person to videoconference for the
rst time ever.
March 23
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces
more than $11 million from the Major
Science Initiatives Fund to support the
operation of VIDO–InterVac in their eort
to nd a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
March 20
The CFI makes provisions to allow
salarysupport for research personnel
who are temporarily redeployed from
CFI-funded infrastructure to support
COVID-19 research.
March 16
The CFI’s downtown Ottawa oce closes
and CFI sta begin working remotely.
Late February
CFI’s programs sta begin to recongure
91 expert committee meetings involving
349 experts from 23 countries for the 2020
Innovation Fund competition, keeping the
400-million-dollar competition on track for
November 2020 Board decisions, while
maintaining the integrity of the review process.
January 22
The University of Saskatchewan’s
CFI-funded Vaccine and Infectious Disease
Organization-International Vaccine Centre
(VIDO-InterVac) receives approval from
the Public Health Agency of Canada
to work on COVID-19 allowing Canada to
join the global research and development
eorts coordinated by the World
Responding to COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the CFI took action to
ensureCanadian research labs would remain at the forefront
sparkling wines
Ontario winemakers are using innovations
from Brock University to be more competitive
Brock Universitys Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture
Institute conducts research to help winemakers in the
Niagara peninsula overcome the challenges posed by
the regions geography and climate, including helping
Fielding Estate Winery, where Heidi Fielding is Director
of Sales and Marketing, grow its sparkling wine sales
up to
Bringing the world’s best researchers
to Canada, and keeping them here
John R. Evans Leaders Fund
The John R. Evans Leaders Fund helps institutions
attractand retain world-leading researchers with
competitive research support packages that include key
infrastructure and a portion of operating and maintenance
costs. This year, we awarded more than $97.9 million to
support 528projects.
Supporting business innovation
Innovation Fund
The College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) helps
colleges foster strategic partnerships with the private
sector. Stream 1 of this fund supports infrastructure
requests aimed at enhancing existing applied research
and technology development capacity in colleges.
Stream 2 supports research infrastructure associated
with an application for a ve-year grant from the College
and Community Innovation – Innovation Enhancements
program, which is managed by the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada. This year, we
awarded more than $10.2 million to support 14projects
through both CIIF streams.
Big ideas, big impact
Innovation Fund
We launched our latest Innovation Fund competition
inApril 2019. For this competition, the CFI will invest
up to $400million in capital funding and $120 million in
associated operating costs through the Infrastructure
Operating Fund. In January 2020, we received
307proposals requesting $1.1 billion for this competition.
Bythe end of the scal year in March, we had to recongure
our merit-review process to ensure we could maintain
the integrity and high standard of excellence that form
the foundation of this process while CFI sta and experts
worked remotely because of the pandemic.
Keeping things running
Operating Fund
We awarded over $32.4 million through the
Infrastructure Operating Fund, which provides
funding equivalent to 30 percent of CFI capital
awards to assist institutions in the operation and
maintenance of CFI-funded infrastructure.
Supporting major research facilities
Major Science Initiatives Fund
Through our Major Science Initiatives Fund, we help
make sure that 17 national research facilities have
the support they need to operate optimally.
Whether physical spaces or virtual networks, these
facilities serve a critical mass of researchers tackling
important issues facing society, from climate change
to cancer. They also act as hubs to bring together
some of our countrys best researchers and to foster
international scientic collaborations.
As the challenges facing scientists become more
complex, this major science infrastructure becomes
critical for exploring the frontiers of research.
This year, following a formal review, we extended
funding for 15 of these facilities to March 31, 2023.
The CFI will also fully support the operations
of the Advanced Research Computing (ARC)
platform, through Compute Canada, until the end
of March 2022. ARC is one of the key elements
of the Government of Canadas Digital Research
Infrastructure (DRI) strategy. Starting April 1, 2022,
funding for the operations and maintenance of
the ARC platform will transition to that strategy.
The DRI strategy represents a signicant
evolution in strengthening Canadas capacity for
advanced research computing and research data
management. In addition to providing uninterrupted
access to ARC’s computing resources for
researchers and their students, the CFI funding
until 2022 will also ensure that Compute Canada
continues to participate in strategic planning during
the transition period so the national DRI system is
well-positioned to succeed.
A British Columbia kiteboard manufacturing
company has set a newbar for kiteboard
technology withan innovative product,
Victoria-based kiteboarding company Ocean Rodeo, where
Richard Myerscough is CEO and Founder, increased its
sales by working with experts at Camosun College to create
strongerplastic control bars that could better withstand the
force of wind andthe torque of performing tricks.
Analyzing corporate
We are committed to remaining publicly accountable
and one way we did that in 2019–20 was by
reviewing and updating our 2015 Performance
evaluation, risk and audit framework. We revised it to
better align with our 2019 Contribution Agreement
with the Government of Canada. It now includes
new indicators of success, such as tracking the
participation of underrepresented groups including
women, indigenous people, visible minorities and
people with disabilities inourfunding programs.
Using this framework, we draft annual reports on
the CFI’s performance, which are reviewed by CFI
management and its Board of Directors.
Early in 2019–20, Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada (ISED) began an
evaluation of the CFI to assess the eciency and
eectiveness of our operations over the past ve
years. This evaluation will draw on, among other
things, data collected through the framework.
Talking to our
In the spring of 2019, we surveyed a number of
CFI stakeholders: administrators and researchers
at institutions that are eligible for CFI funding,
representatives from federal and provincial
governments, and other funders and partners in the
research community. This third biennial stakeholder
survey included questions about the eectiveness
and eciency of our activities and elicited views
on the progress we have made in meeting our
mandate. Among other things, we found that, in
keeping with previous years:
93 percent of respondents believe the CFI is
valuable to science, technology and innovation
87 percent of respondents are
satised or very satised with how
the CFI delivers its programs
Focusing on results
Over the past four years, we have been producing
a series of reports to demonstrate how the CFI
is meeting its objectives. Each “Focusing on
results” report looks at one or more outcomes of
CFI investments and relies on data from various
sources, including the project progress reports we
receive from the institutions we fund, interviews,
focus groups, surveys and datafrom external
sources, such as bibliometrics.
In a study done this year, we examined how CFI
investments have helped advance knowledge. We
found that CFI-funded research infrastructure enables
researchers to advance knowledge in all areas of
research, and that studies acknowledging the CFI
arecited more frequently than the global average.
Developing a common
classication system
for Canadian research
The Canadian Research and Development
Classication provides Canadian researchers,
research institutions and funding organizations
a new way to categorize their work. The CFI has
collaborated with the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC),
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Statistics Canada
on the initiative.
It provides a common approach to classifying
research across institutions and governments.
Having one standard to classify research will make
it easier to assess Canadas overall contribution
to any one eld or type of research, or to any
particular socioeconomic challenge. The new
classication system was completed at the end
of scal year 2019–20. The CFI will be the rst to
implement it in its awards management system in
summer 2020.
Annual disbursements to institutions and operating expenses
as a percentage ofdisbursements
Financial highlights
(For the year ending March 31, 2020)
Since the CFI began:
Total amount committed in grants to the CFI by
the Government of Canada, of which $6.1 billion
has been received. The balance will be received
infuture years, based on annual cash requirements.
Awards approved
Investments of CFI contributions (typically
40percent of project cost) plus those from
institutions and their partners (typically 60 percent)
This scal year:
Total disbursements to eligible institutions
Allocations received from the
Awards approved
Operating expenses
Federal government
(departments or agencies)
Voluntary organizations
Institutions, trust funds
or foundations
Other governmental sources
(municipal or foreign)
Provincial governments
(departments or agencies)
Federal government
(departments or agencies)
Voluntary organizations
Institutions, trust funds
or foundations
Other governmental sources
(municipal or foreign)
Provincial governments
(departments or agencies)
CFI contribution and other funding sources since our inception: Total $19.9 billion
CFI contribution and other funding sources for scal year 2019–20: Total $774.5 million
Reviewing our
investment strategy
and policy
Our Board of Directors’ Investment Committee, which
oversees the management of the CFI’s investment
portfolio, reviewed our investment strategy and policy
in the fall of 2019. Our portfolio of investments is
decreasing and will continue to do so in the coming
months as funds transferred to the CFI from the
Government of Canada in the early years are now
almost entirely depleted. Since 2008, the CFI has
been receiving funds from the federal government
sucient to cover projected award disbursements
to institutions in a given year. As a result, the CFI
concentrates on more liquid investments and
maintains an appropriate liquidity policy.
Remaining accountable
We regularly visit recipient institutions to discuss their
policies, practices, processes and controls for grant
management over the lifecycle of CFI awards, and
assess how well they are managing their CFI-funded
projects. We use a risk-based approach to select
institutions for these monitoring visits. This year, we
conducted three visits and shared good practices
institutions use for managing CFI funds. We also
conduct contribution audits and other cost reviews
of institutions to ensure they are using the funding
they receive for a given project in accordance with
the terms and conditions of the award agreement,
and with applicable policies and guidelines. We
performed contribution audits or other cost reviews
on six projects in 2019–20. All projects with a CFI
contribution exceeding $10million are automatically
subject to an audit, and the risks associated to a
project determine the scope, nature and extent of the
audit activities. Institutions submit nancial reports for
each of their CFI-funded projects at specic intervals,
ranging from quarterly reporting to biennial reporting.
We determine the frequency by the complexity and
risk of each project. This year we received more than
950nancial reports from recipient institutions. These
reports provide information on individual project
costs, funding and timelines for the acquisition of the
infrastructure. We reviewed each of these nancial
reports to identify and address any issues.
Ranges of remuneration
CFI management (officers)
Roseann O’Reilly Runte
President and CEO
$221,400 to $310,100
Isabelle Henrie
Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services
$146,800 to $203,100
Pierre Normand
Vice-President, External Relations
$146,800 to $203,100
Claire Samson (eective March 2020)
Vice-President, Programs and Planning
$146,800 to $203,100
Director, Programs
$121,600 to $162,200
Director, Communications
Director, Corporate Services
Director, Finance
Director, Performance, Analytics andEvaluation
$105,900 to $141,300
Manager, Information Management/
Information Technology
Manager, John R. Evans Leaders Fund
Senior Advisor, Policy and Planning
Senior Programs Ocers
Senior Project Manager
$96,300 to $128,100
Manager, Administration
Manager, Creative Services
Manager, Human Resources
Senior Financial Monitoring Ocer
$86,500 to $115,000
Analyst, Finance
Financial Reporting Analyst
Senior Business Intelligence Developer
Senior Evaluation Analysts, Performance,
Analytics and Evaluation
$76,700 to $102,300
Board of Directors
The CFI Board of Directors is composed of a
maximumof 13 individuals from a variety of
backgrounds, each Director oering a unique
perspective and understanding of the research
community and bringing expertise from one or
more of the private, institutional, academic and
research sectors.
The Government of Canada appoints six Directors
(known as Governor-in-Council appointments),
including the Chair, while CFI Members appoint the
remaining Directors. Directors are nominated and
appointed for three-year terms.
Ingrid Pickering*, Chair
Audit and Finance Committee, Governance and
Nominating Committee, Investment Committee
Margaret Bloodworth, Vice-Chair
Chair, Governance and Nominating Committee
Catherine Boivie*,
Audit and Finance Committee,
Investment Committee
Micheline Bouchard,
Chair, Investment Committee,
Audit and Finance Committee
Lynda Brown-Ganzert*
Governance and Nominating Committee
John Kelly*
Audit and Finance Committee,
Ronald Layden*
Governance and Nominating Committee
Leslie MacLaren
Audit and Finance Committee,
Investment Committee
Cecilia Moloney
Governance and Nominating Committee
Christopher Mushquash
(appointed July 2019)
Marc Ouellette
Governance and Nominating Committee
Ian Seymour
Chair, Audit and Finance Committee,
Investment Committee
Mamdouh Shoukri*
Governance and Nominating Committee
* Governor-in-Council appointment
The Board of Directors reports to a higher
governing body made up of our Members, who
represent the Canadian public. Members nominate
and appoint their fellow Members for ve-year
terms. They meet in June each year and are
responsible for appointing seven of the Board
Directors, appointing external auditors, reviewing
audited nancial statements and approving the
annual report.
Louise Proulx
Emőke Szathmáry
Lorne Babiuk
Harold Cook
Members Governance
and Nominating Committee
Elizabeth Douville
Joanne Gassman
Jack Gauldie
Chair, Members Governance
and Nominating Committee
Linda Humphreys
Marilyn Luscombe
Members Governance
and Nominating Committee
Ronald Morrison
Pierre Richard
Vianne Timmons
Members Governance
and Nominating Committee
Luc Vinet
Directors opting to receive remuneration from
the CFI are entitled to an annual retainer of $5,000.
Committee Chairs receive $7,500, and the Board
Chair receives $10,000. Directors are also entitled
toreceive a per diem fee of $750 for attending
Board or committee meetings and a $500 fee for
attending acommittee meeting associated with
a Board meeting. Members are not entitled to any
remuneration. Members and Directors may, however,
be reimbursed for any reasonable out-of-pocket
expenses incurred while performing their duties or
attending CFI meetings. In 2019–20, the remuneration
of Board Directors ranged from $0 to $17,500.
the roads
Theres booming demand for a Manitoba
companys product that transforms unpaved
roads into smooth, durable surfaces
Winnipeg’s Cypher Environmental , where Teaghan Wellman
is Vice President of Research and Development, has a global market
for itscatalyst that, when mixed with clay, creates a road surface
that is resistant to ruts and potholes. To sell the product in Canada,
the company partnered with Brandon University to prove it can
withstand Manitoba winters.
the MRI
A New Brunswick company is making its mark
around the world by commercializing a new
technology that uses Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI), typically a healthcare technology,
to extract oil and gas more eciently
Green Imaging Technologies Inc. in Fredericton, which was
co-founded by Jill Green, uses MRI software to analyse the
behaviour of oil and gas inside rocks. The technique, developed
in partnership with the University of New Brunswick and sold
around the world, makes it possible to retrieve more oil and
gas from every well, an eciency that translates to as much
as$100,000 per day for one well for decades.
Funding announcements
OnFebruary10,2020, at the Cégep de Trois-Rivières,
the Government ofCanada announced $7 million for
seven projects at six colleges through the College-
Industry Innovation Fund. Jean-Philippe Jacques (with
back to photo), director of the Cégeps Innobre, Centre
d’innovation des produits cellulosiques, displays
samples of products made out of recycled pulp and
paper. Looking on are (from left to right) Parliamentary
Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and
Industry (Science), William Amos; Pierre Normand,
Vice-President, External Relations and Communications
at the CFI; and Louis Gendron (face hidden), President
ofCégep de Trois-Rivières.
Other funding announcements held this year:
$2 million through the John R. Evans Leaders
Fund to support three Canada Excellence
Research Chairs, announced April 17
$160 million for the Major Science Initiatives
Fund, including $40 million for seven nationally
signicant facilities, held April 29 at the University
of Saskatchewans Canadian Light Source
$12 million awarded to 17 research projects
at colleges and polytechnics through
the College-Industry Innovation Fund, held
June13 at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont.
More than $4 million through the
JohnR. Evans Leaders Fund to support
30Canada Research Chairs, announced
June 14 at the University of Victoria
$61 million to support 261 projects at 40
universities through the John R. Evans Leaders
Fund, held August 12, at the University of Alberta
* Projects announced this scal year may have been approved
in a previous scal year so amounts may not match those
listed elsewhere in this report.
New year, new blog
In January, our President and CEO, Roseann
O’Reilly Runte launched a new blog, “innovision:
Reections on research,” where she provides
thoughtful comments on research, innovation
and research policy and funding in Canada. Early
posts touched on developing regional strengths
through research, unconventional careers in
science and working during a pandemic.
Research is mybusiness partner
At the beginning of 2020, we launched a
promotional campaign — Research is my business
partner — to highlight how small- and medium-
size companies across Canada benet from
partnerships in CFI-funded research labs. You
can nd these stories throughout this report.
We promoted these proles of successful
collaborations between the private sector
and publicly funded research online, in select
publications and around Ottawa (above).
Canada booth at the annual meeting
of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science
In February, we participated in the Canada booth at the
annual meeting of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Washington.
Led by the Oce of the Chief Science Advisor, MonaNemer
(centre, in green), and supported by a number of
organizations, the Canadian presence at this international
conference aimed to highlight the benets of studying and
conducting research in Canada for prospective students
andresearchers from abroad.
Photo: Cara Marshall
Annual public meeting
Roseann O’Reilly Runte, CFI President and
CEO(far left) moderates a discussion between
EdMcCauley, President and Vice-Chancellor
at the University of Calgary, and Marie-Josée
Hébert, Vice-Rector of Research, Discovery,
Creation and Innovation at the Université de
Montréal, about the innovative ways their
respective institutions are working to embrace
collaboration across disciplines and engaging
with the community. The keynote panel capped
o our annual public meeting on December 3.
Science Machines
Science Machines is a CFI-led outreach program that aims to provide young women opportunities to see rst hand the
amazing tools scientists use every day. Tasheena (holding clipboard), Elan, Alexis and Aurora, members of the University
of Reginas Educating Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES) All Girls After School Club, and Chris Somers, biology
professor at the University of Regina, look on as undergraduate researcher Linnea McClellan asks a suckersh to smile for
the camera. At this Science Machines event on March 7 the girls used sh-tracking equipment to catch and tag sh through
the ice of Saskatchewan’s Bualo Pound Lake.
Photo: Natalie Selinger
Navigator highlights this year
facilities across Canada
sectors of application
average monthly webvisits
Making connections that matter
This year, the Research Facilities Navigator —
theCFI’s online directory of leading-edge, publicly
funded research facilities — helped create over
239connections between labs and potential partners
from industry, academia andgovernment.
Navigator facilities supporting
Canadas contribution to
COVID-19 included:
VIDO–InterVac (research team above) is one of the
largest and most advanced research facilities in
the world working on animal and human infectious
diseases. It is also part of the worldwide research
eort to create a vaccine for COVID-19.
The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation
Centre produced 2,000 face shields using
laser-cutting technology and computer
design tools in their lab at Niagara College.
Researchers at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ont.,
used their expertise in managing gas ow and
gas handling to build a ventilator prototype.
Photo: VIDO-InterVac, University of Saskatchewan
#IAmInnovation Twitter contest
To highlight the work of a new generation
of researchers, we launched our third
#IAmInnovation Twitter contest in December
and announced the winners in February. We
asked contestants to submit videos or photos
that demonstrate their work in CFI-funded
labs andfacilities. The three winnerswere:
PhD candidate Nicole Lerminiaux of the
Department of Biology at the University
of Regina, who is discovering how
our natural environment inuences
antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
PhD student Alex Szojka of
the Department of Surgery
at the University of Alberta in
Edmonton, who is developing
lab-grown knee meniscus
replacements for people with
non-healing injuries to prevent
development of osteoarthritis.
PhD student Anna Cooper
Reed of the Institute of Health
Policy, Management and
Evaluation at the University
of Toronto, who is exploring
healthcare services for
Canadas aging population.
A Quebec company has created a
construction product that lets builders
reachnew heights and gives the forestry
industry a new way to make money and
increase employment
Two-hundred and fty of Chantiers Chibougamau’s
employees — a quarter of its workforce — have jobs
directly linked to a new line of engineered wood products for
construction which are now sold internationally. The forestry
company, where Frédéric Verreault is Executive Director,
Corporate Development, partnered with FPInnovations to
develop the products, which also opened up new building
design and construction possibilities.
Looking toward the future
What we are working
on for 2020–21:
Making funding decisions for the
2020 Innovation Fund competition,
with a budget of $400 million and an
additional $120 million in support from
the Infrastructure Operating Fund
Finalizing the consultation and launching
the new Northern Research Infrastructure
Fund, which will support research projects
conducted by Northern institutions
on issues relevant to Northerners
Using the lessons learned during the
COVID-19 pandemic to explore an online
review process for future competitions
Building on our commitment to support
equity, diversity and inclusion in
Canadas research community with
deliberate and meaningful actions
Evaluating how the College-Industry
Innovation Fund meets the needs
of colleges and their partners and
identifying possible renements to
the design or delivery of the fund
Planning the International Conference on
Research Infrastructures, which the CFI will
host in Ottawa in June 2021, to bring together
stakeholders including policy experts,
facility managers and leading researchers to
discuss challenges and emerging trends for
research infrastructures around the world
Continuing to work with the Fonds de
recherche du Québec and the Ministère de
l’Économie et de l’Innovation to understand
the social, cultural and economic impact
of research and research infrastructure
funding on regions in Quebec
Growing the number of users of the
Navigator and promoting it as a key
resource in driving Canadian research
partnerships and innovation
Continuing to show the return on CFI
investments by sharing compelling
stories— from increasing the capacity
for bright minds to conduct research to
providing spaces where the next generation
of researchers can grow their careers
A Quebec company has created a
construction product that lets builders
reachnew heights and gives the forestry
industry a new way to make money and
increase employment
Two-hundred and fty of Chantiers Chibougamau’s
employees — a quarter of its workforce — have jobs
directly linked to a new line of engineered wood products for
construction which are now sold internationally. The forestry
company, where Frédéric Verreault is Executive Director,
Corporate Development, partnered with FPInnovations to
develop the products, which also opened up new building
design and construction possibilities.
Financial statements
Independent auditors report
To the Members of the
Canada Foundation for Innovation
We have audited the nancial statements of the Canada Foundation for Innovation [the
“Foundation”], which comprise the statement of nancial position as at March 31, 2020, and
the statement of operations and statement of cash ows for the year then ended, and notes
to the nancial statements, including a summary of signicant accounting policies.
In our opinion, the accompanying nancial statements present fairly, in all material respects,
the nancial position of the Foundation as at March 31, 2020 and its results of operations
and its cash ows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector
accounting standards for government not-for-prot organizations.
Basis for opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing
standards. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditors
responsibilities for the audit of the nancial statements section of our report. We are
independent of the Foundation in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant
to our audit of the nancial statements in Canada, and we have fullled our other ethical
responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence
we have obtained is sucient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
Responsibilities of management and those charged
with governance for the nancial statements
Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the nancial
statements in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards for government
not-for-prot organizations, and for such internal control as management determines is
necessary to enable the preparation of nancial statements that are free from material
misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
In preparing the nancial statements, management is responsible for assessing the
Foundations ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related
to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management
either intends to liquidate the Foundation or to cease operations, or has no realistic
alternative but to do so.
Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s nancial
reporting process.
Auditors responsibilities for the audit of the nancial statements
Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the nancial statements
as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an
auditors report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance,
but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with Canadian generally
accepted auditing standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists.
Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in
the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to inuence the economic decisions of
users taken on the basis of these nancial statements.
As part of an audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards, we
exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit.
We also:
Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the nancial statements,
whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to
those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sucient and appropriate to provide
a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting
from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion,
forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design
audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of
expressing an opinion on the eectiveness of the Foundations internal control.
Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of
accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
Conclude on the appropriateness of managements use of the going concern
basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material
uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast signicant doubt on
the Foundation’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material
uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditors report to the
related disclosures in the nancial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate,
to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up
to the date of our auditors report. However, future events or conditions may cause
the Foundation to cease to continue as a going concern.
Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the nancial statements,
including the disclosures, and whether the nancial statements represent the
underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the
planned scope and timing of the audit and signicant audit ndings, including any signicant
deciencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.
Ottawa, Canada Chartered Professional Accountants
June 23, 2020 Licensed Public Accountant
Statement of nancial position
As at March 31
2020 2019
$ $
Cash 48,523,090 41,330,110
Interest and other receivables 1,546,530 1,364,230
Investments (note 4) 202,018,544 183,330,635
Prepaid expenses 368,664 188,040
Capital assets, net (note 5) 3,068,020 3,996,368
255,524,848 230,209,383
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,028,393 505,569
Deferred lease inducement (note 6) 625,781 695,962
International Conference on Research
Infrastructures project deposits
553,279 94,826
2,207,453 1,296,357
Deferred contributions (note 7)
Expenses of future years 250,249,375 224,916,658
Capital assets 3,068,020 3,996,368
Total liabilities 255,524,848 230,209,383
Commitments (note 8)
Net assets (note 9)
255,524,848 230,209,383
See accompanying notes
Ingrid Pickering Ian Seymour
Director Director
Statement of operations
Year ended March 31
2020 2019
$ $
REVENUE (note 7)
Recognition of deferred contributions related
toamounts granted to eligible recipients
359,593,581 386,098,462
Recognition of deferred contributions related
tocurrent-year operations
12,842,624 13,191,013
Amortization of deferred contributions related
tocapital assets
1,078,201 1,245,665
373,514,406 400,535,140
EXPENSES (note 12)
Grants to eligible recipients 359,593,581 386,098,462
General and administration 12,842,624 13,191,013
Amortization of capital assets 1,078,201 1,245,665
373,514,406 400,535,140
Excess of revenue over expenses for the year
See accompanying notes
Statement of cash ows
Year ended March 31
2020 2019
$ $
Excess of revenue over expenses for the year
Items not involving cash
Amortization of capital assets 1,078,201 1,245,665
Amortization of deferred contributions
relatedtocapital assets
(1,078,201) (1,245,665)
Loss on equipment disposals and write-os 6,244
Decrease of deferred contributions related
toequipment disposal
Net decrease in amortization of discount/
premium on investments
(251,429) (5,283,882)
Net decrease in deferred contributions related to
expenses of future years
(365,967,283) (396,260,456)
(366,218,712) (401,544,338)
Net change in non-cash working capital balances
related to operations (note 11)
548,172 1,221,912
Cash used in operating activities (365,670,540) (400,322,426)
Purchase of capital assets (149,853) (3,050,525)
Increase in deferred contributions related
tocapital assets
149,853 3,050,525
Cash used in capital activities
Cash used in operating and capital activities (365,670,540) (400,322,426)
Purchase of investments (782,633,485) (452,104,887)
Proceeds from disposal of investments 764,197,005 543,209,490
Cash provided by investing activities (18,436,480) 91,104,603
Grants received (note 7) 391,300,000 330,700,000
Cash provided by nancing activities 391,300,000 330,700,000
Net increase in cash during the year 7,192,980 21,482,177
Cash, beginning of year 41,330,110 19,847,933
Cash, end of year 48,523,090 41,330,110
See accompanying notes
Notes to nancial statements
1. Description of business
The Canada Foundation for Innovation [the “CFI”] was incorporated on April 25, 1997, under
Part I of the Budget Implementation Act, 1997 [the “Act”] for the purpose of making research
infrastructure grants to Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals and non-prot research
institutions to increase the capability for conducting high-quality research.
Grants received from the Government of Canada and related investment income are
administered and invested in accordance with the requirements of the Act and the terms
and conditions of the Funding and the Contribution Agreements between the CFI and the
Government of Canada.
The CFI is a non-taxable entity under paragraph 149(1) I) of the Income Tax Act(Canada).
2. Summary of signicant accounting policies
The nancial statements have been prepared by management in accordance with Canadian
public sector accounting standards for government not-for-prot organizations and include
the following signicant accounting policies:
The CFI follows the deferral method of accounting for contributions that include grants from
the Government of Canada and potential donations from other sources.
Externally restricted contributions and related investment income are deferred and
recognized as revenue in the year in which the underlying expenditures are incurred. A
receivable is recognized if the amount to be received can be reasonably estimated and
collection is reasonably assured.
Externally restricted contributions applied toward the purchase of capital assets are
deferred and amortized to revenue on a straight-line basis, at a rate corresponding with the
amortization rate for the related capital assets.
Grants to eligible recipients are recognized as expenses as the disbursements of funds are
authorized by management and all eligibility criteria are met.
The CFI records interest and other receivables, investments and accounts payable and
accrued liabilities at amortized cost using the eective interest method of amortization.
Cash is measured at fair value.
Purchases of investments are recorded on the settlement date.
Financial instruments recorded at fair value are grouped into Levels 1 to 3 based on the
degree to which fair value is observable:
Level 1fair value measurements are those derived from quoted prices [unadjusted]
in active markets for identical assets or liabilities;
Level 2fair value measurements are those derived from inputs other than quoted
prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either
directly [i.e., as prices] or indirectly [i.e., derived from prices]; and
Level 3fair value measurements are those derived from valuation techniques that
include inputs for the asset or liability that are not based on observable market data
[unobservable inputs].
The fair value hierarchy requires the use of observable market inputs whenever such inputs
exist. A nancial instrument is classied to the lowest level of hierarchy for which a signicant
input has been considered in measuring fair value.
The nancial instrument recorded on the statement of nancial position at fair value is
composed of cash and is listed as Level 1.
Purchased capital assets are recorded at cost while contributed capital assets, if any, are
recorded at fair value at the date of contribution. Repairs and maintenance costs are charged
to expenses. When a capital asset no longer contributes to the CFI’s ability to provide
services, its carrying amount is written down to its residual value.
Capital assets are amortized on a straight-line basis using the following annual rates
Leasehold improvements Term of the lease
Furniture and other equipment 5 years
Computer and software 3-5 years
Awards management system Remaining months to March 2021
Development costs for the CFI awards management system are capitalized and amortized
when the new functionalities become operational. Development costs are composed mainly
of professional services.
The preparation of these nancial statements requires the CFI’s management to make
estimates and assumptions that aect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and
disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as at the date of the nancial statements
and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual
results could dier from these estimates. These estimates are reviewed periodically and,
as adjustments become necessary, they are reported in the periods in which they become
known. The most signicant estimates used in preparing these nancial statements include
assumptions used in determining the collectability of accounts receivable, the estimated
useful lives of capital assets and the amount of accrued liabilities.
3. Capital management
In managing capital, the CFI focuses on liquid resources available for operations and to be
disbursed to eligible recipients. The CFI’s objective is to have sucient liquid resources
to continue operating in accordance with the Funding and the Contribution Agreements
between the CFI and the Government of Canada, despite adverse events with nancial
consequences, and to provide it with the exibility to take advantage of opportunities that
will advance its purposes. The need for sucient liquid resources is considered in the
preparation of an annual corporate plan, including long-term cash ow projections and
budget. Disbursements to eligible recipients and actual operating results are monitored and
compared to the cash ow projections to ensure availability of sucient liquid resources. As
at March 31, 2020, the CFI has met its objective of having sucient liquid resources to meet
its current obligations.
4. Investments
Investments comprise the following nancial instruments:
2020 2019
Fair value
Fair value
Money market funds 52,352,006 52,334,165
Bonds 33,606,490 33,612,331
High-interest savings accounts 149,684,379 149,684,379 149,718,304 149,718,304
202,036,385 202,018,544 183,324,794 183,330,635
Interest rate risk
Interest rate risk arises when the value of an investment uctuates due to changes in market
interest rates.
The CFI invests in money market funds and high-interest savings accounts and, as such, the
interest rate does not present a signicant nancial risk for the CFI.
Price risk
Price risk is the risk that the fair value of a nancial instrument will uctuate because of
changes in market prices [other than those arising from interest rate risk], whether those
changes are caused by factors specic to an individual nancial instrument or its issuer, or
factors aecting all similar securities traded in the market.
As at March 31, 2020, a 1% increase in market price would result in an increase of the fair
value for investments of approximately $2.0 million [2019 – $1.8 million].
The CFI’s grant commitments do not exceed the total of its investments, related investment
income and grants committed from the government that will be received in future years.
The timing of investment maturities is matched to projected cash outows. The degree of
volatility is mitigated by the CFI’s policy that it will not invest in shares, warrants or other
equities, convertible debt securities, derivatives, swaps, options or futures. As such,
management believes that interest rate and price risks are appropriately managed.
The high-interest savings accounts are tiered-rate interest accounts that combine high
interest, liquidity and security of a simple deposit account, established for the purpose
ofinvestment. The interest rates for these accounts range from 1.45% to 2.35%
[2019 – 1.82% to 2.51%].
Currency risk
Currency risk is the risk that the fair value of a nancial instrument will uctuate because of
changes in foreign exchange rates. The CFI is not exposed to currency uctuations.
Liquidity risk is the risk of not being able to meet cash requirements in a timely and cost-
eective manner.
The CFI matches the timing of investment maturities to projected cash outows.
Furthermore, the entire portfolio is made up of cash and money market instruments. As such,
liquidity does not present a signicant nancial risk to the CFI.
The maturities of money market funds range between April 2020 and May 2020.
Credit risk arises from the potential that the issuer of an investment will fail to perform its
obligations. Concentrations of credit risk exist when a signicant proportion of investments
are invested in securities with similar characteristics or subject to similar economic, political
or other conditions.
It is the CFI’s policy to invest only in securities with at least AA investment ratings or the
equivalent. In addition, the CFI’s investment policy restricts the single largest issuer, in the
case of all but AAA Government, to a maximum of 1% to 20% [2019 – 1% to 20%] of the total
investment portfolio depending on the investment category. As such, management believes
that credit risk is appropriately managed.
5. Capital assets
Capital assets consist of the following:
2020 2019
Net book
Net book
Leasehold improvements 2,306,907 363,625 1,943,282 2,161,22
Furniture and other equipment 804,768 390,591 414,177 532,931
Computers and software 1,281,010 1,066,029 214,981 166,646
Awards management system 6,629,688 6,134,108 495,580 1,135,571
11,022,373 7,954,353 3,068,020 3,996,368
Total cost and accumulated amortization related to capital assets held as at March 31, 2019,
were $10,872,520 and $6,876,152, respectively.
6. Deferred lease inducement
In August 2017, the CFI signed a lease ending February 28, 2029, for new premises and
received an inducement. The lease provides for eleven months of free basic rent totalling
$455,590 and seven months of free additional rent totalling $287,159. The total amount
of $742,749 has been recognized as an inducement. The amortization of the inducement
is over 127 months commencing August 1, 2018. As at March 31, 2020, the unamortized
balance is $625,781.
7. Deferred contributions
The CFI operates under two active Funding Agreements and three Contribution Agreements
with the Government of Canada. As at March 31, 2020, the Government of Canada had
committed $8.79 billion in grants to the CFI under these agreements, of which $6.12 billion
had been received. The terms and conditions of these agreements call for remaining grants
to be paid to the CFI annually, subject to sucient appropriation by Parliament, based
on the estimated cash requirements for the year. During the scal year, the CFI received
$391.3million [2019 – $330.7 million] related to these agreements.
Deferred contributions related to expenses of future years represent unspent externally
restricted grants received to date, together with investment revenue earned, for the purpose
of providing grants to eligible recipients and paying for operating and capital expenditures in
future years.
2020 2019
$ $
BALANCE, BEGINNING OF YEAR 224,916,658 290,477,114
Add grants received 391,300,000 330,700,000
Add restricted investment revenue earned 6,618,775 6,073,300
Less amount recognized as revenue (372,436,205) (399,289,475)
Less amount applied toward capital assets
(149,853) (3,050,525)
Loss on equipment disposals 6,244
BALANCE, END OF YEAR 250,249,375 224,916,658
Deferred contributions related to capital assets represent the unamortized amount
of restricted grants received and applied toward the purchase of capital assets. The
amortization of capital contributions is recorded as revenue in the statement of operations
on the same basis as the amortization of the related capital assets.
2020 2019
$ $
BALANCE, BEGINNING OF YEAR 3,996,368 2,197,752
Restricted grants applied towards the
purchaseof capital assets
149,853 3,050,525
Loss on equipment and write-os (6,244)
Less amount amortized to revenue (1,078,201) (1,245,665)
BALANCE, END OF YEAR 3,068,020 3,996,368
8. Commitments
During the year, the CFI approved grants for a maximum amount of $380.0 million
[2019 – $135.3 million]. Total disbursements to eligible recipients during the scal year were
$359.6 million [2019 – $386.1 million]. As at March 31, 2020, the CFI has approved grants
for a maximum amount of $8,300.6 million, of which $7,322.3 million had been disbursed. To
date, the CFI has award agreements in place related to these approved grants in the amount
of $8,018.6 million and, therefore, has outstanding contractual obligations of $696.3 million
as at March 31, 2020.
The CFI estimates these obligations to be disbursed as follows:
in millions of
2021 250.7
2022 160.1
2023 132.3
2024 62.7
2025 onwards 90.5
In August 2017, the CFI signed a lease for premises at 55 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ontario
fora period ending February 28, 2029. The minimum annual lease payment related to the
new premises is approximately $1.0 million.
9. Restricted contributions and net assets
The requirements of the Act, which governs the CFI and the terms of its Funding and
Contribution Agreements with the Government of Canada, externally impose restrictions
on all of the CFI’s net assets. Investment revenue to be earned on the grants received from
the Government of Canada is also restricted. Accordingly, the entire net assets of the CFI
are deferred and taken into revenue as expenditures are made with no net asset balance
outstanding at any time. A statement of changes in net assets has not been prepared since
itwould not provide additional useful information.
10. Pension plan
The employees of the CFI may elect to become members of the Universities Canada Pension
Plan [the ”Plan”], a dened contribution plan managed by Sun Life Financial Inc. The employer
contributions made to the Plan during the year ended March 31, 2020, amounted to $766,907
[2019 – $770,598].
11. Statement of cash ows
2020 2019
$ $
Interest and other receivables (182,300) 678,364
Prepaid expenses (180,624) 112,745
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 522,824 (359,985)
Deferred lease inducement (70,181) 695,962
International Conference on Research
Infrastructures project deposits
458,453 94,826
548,172 1,221,912
12. Global coronavirus pandemic
The global coronavirus pandemic has resulted in estimated losses of $125,295 relating to
travel costs incurred for the 2020 Innovation Fund merit-review process. These have been
reected in general and administration expenses. Further impacts are unknown at this time.