Boere, Gonzalez receive CFI funding

Federal, provincial and University of Lethbridge officials have delivered more than $700,000 for new equipment to two research groups on campus.

Through the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund and matching support from the Province of Alberta Small Equipment Grant Program administered through the Department of Advanced Education and Technology, the researchers will receive a combined $547,778.

Additional support from the University of Lethbridge and industry partners brings that total to more than $700,000.

Dr. Rene Boere (chemistry and biochemistry) lead a group application to fund specialized imaging equipment that will be used to examine the fine details of nanomaterials ($352,008).

Dr. Claudia Gonzalez (kinesiology and physical education) will receive funding to obtain equipment that she will use to monitor in greater detail how the brain processes motor skill signals that control such activities as hand and eye movement ($195,770)

"Supporting science is key to Canada's future economic growth," says Rick Casson, MP for Lethbridge.

"Our government's commitment to helping universities attract and retain world-leading research talent will lead to discoveries that improve the quality of life of Canadians and create new jobs. The University of Lethbridge has been making creativity and innovation household words in southern Alberta and beyond, and this funding today reinforces that process."

The federal government recently announced $61 million through the CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) to support the work of 339 leading researchers and 245 projects at 48 Canadian research institutions.

Additional funds were received through the Province of Alberta's Small Equipment Grant program, which funds projects that meet a high degree of research excellence and alignment with Alberta's research and innovation priorities.

"The University of Lethbridge is building a reputation for research excellence," says Greg Weadick, MLA for Lethbridge-West. "The Government of Alberta is very proud to be a part of this success and to help support brilliant researchers like Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Boere."

University of Lethbridge President Mike Mahon says that investment from the federal and provincial governments, working in partnership, are critical in ensuring that researchers have the tools they need to answer the important questions facing communities in Alberta, Canada and beyond.

"It cannot be understated how important a strong research program is to the health of an institution that serves undergraduate and graduate students. Our student-first approach is strengthened because our students are able to interact with talented, supported researchers like Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Boere, and their colleagues," says Mahon.

Mahon adds that research investments are also critical in ensuring that Alberta and Canada are able to recruit and retain talented faculty and students from across the globe.

"The U of L is in a fortunate position. Researchers, graduate and undergraduate students from jurisdictions where funding to post-secondary sector have been drastically cut are surveying the landscape. When they see the Governments of Canada and Alberta investing in a knowledge economy -- as they are today -- they are compelled to consider if their research program or educational experience is better suited at a comprehensive, destination university like the U of L."