Putting new tools in the hands of leading Canadian scientists

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October 12, 2017

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA — Imagine a nano-sized anti-cancer drug that can destroy a breast tumour without damaging the surrounding tissue. Or a self-healing skin graft made from nanomaterials that treats the wounds of people with diabetes. These two biomedical technologies alone could greatly improve the quality of life for patients and save millions in healthcare costs for Canadians.

This is why the Government of Canada is investing research infrastructure funds through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for the new Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory at the University of Manitoba.

The funding was announced at the university today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, as part of a CFI investment of more than $554 million in 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 universities, colleges and research hospitals across Canada. With this announcement, the CFI also marks an important milestone, having funded more than 10,000 projects since it began in 1997.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, Malcolm Xing, an emerging leader in biomedical engineering and nanomedicine at the University of Manitoba, will develop drug-loaded nanoparticles that target tumour cells. He and his team will also engineer 3-D printed nanocomposites for skin grafts used in treating foot ulcers in diabetics. This project is one of four at the university to receive CFI funding, for a total of $1.2 million.

The funding announced today, awarded through the CFI’s Innovation Fund, will support research ranging from harnessing the renewable power of tidal currents to rehabilitating people with traumatic brain injuries and building the world’s first quantum computer.

This fund aims to put the right tools in the hands of the country’s scientists so they can discover, innovate and train their students for the jobs of tomorrow. By doing so, scientists are contributing to building a bolder, brighter future for all Canadians, one that includes a strong and healthy middle class.


“Our government understands that scientists need to have the best labs and tools if they’re going to make discoveries that will pave the way to a brighter future for all people. That’s why today’s funding announcement is so important; it gives scientists and their students the opportunity to further their research in areas where Canada has a competitive advantage. The discoveries, innovations and skills developed in these new, state-of-the-art labs will go a long way in improving our lives, our economy and our future prosperity.”

‒ Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“The Innovation Fund encourages institutions and its researchers to think big and strive to be global leaders by conducting world-class research. This funding pushes researchers to aim higher in their pursuits by collaborating across disciplines, institutions and sectors. With this support, institutions can build on their current research strengths and set their sights on accelerating research that will create social, health, environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”

‒ Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“The University of Manitoba has a 140-year legacy of leading our province in research, scholarly works and creative activities: this new funding continues that tradition. Dr. Xing’s research joins medicine with engineering, creating life-changing technologies that will impact treatment and patient care for all Canadians.”

‒ Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba

“I thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for this funding to support my research program. Our lab aims to develop new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Materials/Medicine/Mathematics) for stem cells and organs. This will lead to a better life for all.”

‒ Malcolm Xing, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba


  • The University of Manitoba is the lead institution in Malcolm Xing’s project, and a partner in three additional projects led by other institutions.
  • The Innovation Fund supports initiatives that allow researchers and students at universities, colleges and research hospitals to build on existing areas of expertise such as artificial intelligence, quantum science, brain health and renewable energy.
  • As part of this announcement, an additional $127,098,512 was awarded under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund, which assists institutions with the operating and maintenance costs associated with their new research infrastructure.


Read Big ideas, big impact — A collection of stories about some of the projects supported through the 2017 Innovation Fund competition
Learn more about the Innovation Fund
Visit the CFI Research Facilities Navigator — An online directory of labs that are open
for business
View the infographicMore than 10,000 ways to make Canadian research world-class

Follow Minister Duncan on social media
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

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