Government Funding

Securing Canada’s Biosciences Sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on some holes and weak points in Canada’s health and biomanufacturing fields and the government has taken notice. The Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy (CBLSS) is a science and innovation initiative on behalf of the Canadian federal government that aims to strengthen and secure the nation’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to prepare for future pandemics. The strategy is being fulfilled through two funds: the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF).

“As we look to a post pandemic future for Canada, it is important to continue establishing Canada’s competitive position on the global stage. That’s why the Government of Canada has developed a comprehensive strategy to re-build a strong and resilient domestic biomanufacturing and life sciences sector”

-Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy

The CBRF and BRIF are comprehensive support programs, administering funding over the next four years, starting in August 2021. The CBRF is an ecosystem approach that is structured to improve existing infrastructure, partnerships, and institutions. The BRIF is a funding competition that supports the bio infrastructure needs of successful applicants.

Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) was awarded $500 million over a four-year span. The BRIF will commence in late 2021 and will support bioscience infrastructure in Canada by helping supply the needs of post-secondary institutions and research hospitals.

The BRIF is designed to strengthen the capacity of hospitals and care facilities in response to significant health threats. The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund also supports the advancement of promising research projects and discoveries with training and talent development. The first call for proposals for the BRIF took place between August 25, 2021 and September 21, 2021. That intake period was focused on responding to critical infrastructure needs of the COVID-19 pandemic and by supporting containment facilities at levels three and four.

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) is a four-year, $500 million investment in the creation of a tri-agency program made up of three federal funding agencies in research. The tri-agency program will be administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) starting in the 2022-2023 government fiscal year. The agency will be composed of the SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

Grants awarded through the Canada Biomedical Research Fund will be institutional grants that may be used for training, applied research & development, and talent development, among other eligible activities. Institutions that meet CBRF eligibility for any of the three federal research funding agencies may be eligible to allocate CBRF funds.

Amount of Funding

The funding amounts for the two CBLSS funds will fluctuate according to a variety or factors. Funding for these programs will also be administered sporadically over the next four years.

The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

Funding through the BRIF is being allotted through a competition that will invest up to $150 million in research infrastructure projects. Successful submitted projects may receive up to 60% of eligible infrastructure costs. Also, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will provide up to $34.5 million for associated costs.

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund

Support through this fund will amount to $250 million over four years starting in the 2022 year. No further information has been released on specific funding allotments for applicants.

Eligibility

All applicants for funding must be a Canadian institution in health and biomedical sciences. Further eligibility requirements vary according to the fund.

The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

The following institutions may be eligible applicants for the BRIF competition is they meet the following criteria:

  • Canadian universities or colleges; and
  • Research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions considered to be eligible by the CFI.

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund

Institutions that have met the eligibility requirements for one of the three federal research funding agencies may be eligible to administer funds. To learn more about eligibility criteria for this fund, please review the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration.

Objectives of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy

The objective of the CBLSS is to leverage the resources and networks of both the BRIF and CBRF to improve applied research initiatives, infrastructure ad strategies for creating a sturdy biomanufacturing sector in Canada. Specifically, the CBRF and BRIF will both support in the following areas:

  • Taking bigger risks by funding large-scale initiatives that typically struggle to receive funding from other research funding agency programs, as well as helping results transition from inception to market faster;
  • Support pandemic preparedness, as well as target funding that may address large research gaps that are in alignment with the Strategy;
  • Enhance Canada’s bio-innovation talent pipeline by funding training opportunities for graduate students, postdoc fellows, as well as early career researchers, in the biomanufacturing sector;
  • Help projects under any of the three federal research agencies and the CFI; and
  • Fix critical infrastructure needs that cause issues in postsecondary institutions and research hospitals that support in pandemic preparedness and emerging health and safety threats.

To learn more about the objectives for these two funds and the broader CBLSS, please refer to the Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy program page.

Program Timelines

Program timelines for the Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy may vary according to individual funds. However, the strategy will be investing continuously for the next four years or until funding is fully committed.

The Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund

The call for proposals for the BRIF began on September 21, 2022 and funding proposals must be submitted by December 7, 2021.

The Canada Biomedical Research Fund

The CBRF will begin to administer funds starting in the 2022 calendar year.

To learn more about the program timelines of both of these funds, please refer to the CBLSS program page today.

Exploring Government Funding Opportunities

If you are looking for further government funding programs, please visit the research and development funding table or this more general comprehensive funding directory.

Mentor Works team of Canadian government grant & loan application writers have an average success rate of 86% across all government funding programs and provide our clients with an average of 95% time savings.

We also suggest applicants use this free guide to learn the ins and outs of the IRAP and SR&ED programs. To discover more about opportunities in funding relief, contact a Mentor Works representative.

New Call-to-action

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *