The Weekly Roundup: New appointments and a $248-million investment to support Canadian researchers

Published on
November 20, 2023
Written by
Delphic Research
Read time
6 min

It's been an incredibly eventful week, and our clients have remained fully informed about the latest trends and stories. Our primary goal is to provide them with crucial insights into everything shaping their industry. Have a peek at some of the news that we delivered to them.

Beginning with an impactful highlight,Brigitte Nolet, President and CEO of Roche Canada Pharma, has assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors for Innovative Medicines Canada.

This signifies a pivotal moment for the life sciences sector, given Nolet's extensive leadership experience at Roche since 2006. Her global influence spans policy establishment, collaborations with prestigious health institutions like the World Bank and World Health Organization, and advocacy for equitable access to oncology medications in lower-income nations.

Meanwhile, the search for an Executive Director at the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board continues following Doug Clark's departure in February 2023. Noteworthy appointments made by Federal Health Minister Mark Holland in October include Peter Moreland-Giraldeau, a legal professional specializing in Alberta Workers’ Compensation, and Dr. Emily A. Reynen, a member of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health's Canadian Drug Expert Committee. These appointments mark a notable shift in the board's composition, with Carolyn Kobernick as the remaining member from previous reform attempts.

The federal government has allocated an impressive $248-million to support 34 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs(CERCs) across 18 Canadian postsecondary institutions, marking a historic achievement for the program. This investment aims to attract global talent, diversify academic communities, and drive innovation, offering substantial benefits to Canada's society and economy.

The new cohort of researchers will delve into diverse fields such as green chemistry, regenerative lung medicine, Indigenous leadership, climate change impact mitigation, health equity, and precision education. Over the next eight years, these recipients will establish research facilities, forge partnerships, and contribute to advancing research excellence and talent development.

Notable among the appointed CERCs are Dr.Kalyan Das, appointed as the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Antiviral Drug Design at the University of Alberta, and Professors Darren Grant, Thomas Jennewein, and Nicholas Reo, representing the first CERCs for Simon FraserUniversity.

Additionally, a collaborative effort between the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and eCampusOntario aims to fortify connections between Ontario businesses and the vast research and development(R&D) resources available in universities and colleges across the province.This strategic alliance leverages CFI’s Research Facilities Navigator to bolster eCampusOntario’s Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform. The goal is to facilitate accessible pathways for businesses to tap into R&D knowledge and advanced research infrastructure, enabling Canadian innovators to thrive locally and globally.

Furthermore, a joint statement by Mark Holland, Minister of Health, and Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, during Digital Health Week emphasized the pivotal role of digital technologies in enhancing Canadians' health and well-being.

Despite the aspiration for Canadians to access their health information online, only about one-third of the population currently enjoys electronic access to this data. The Canadian government's commitment to revolutionizing healthcare delivery and enhancing national health outcomes is evidenced through a $200-billion investment plan over the next decade. A quarter of this budget, amounting to $25 billion, will be dedicated to addressing unique healthcare needs in each province and territory.

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