Government of Canada Invests in Research Commercialization

February 17, 2017

$29 million investment in two commercialization centres will accelerate Canadians’ access to innovative cancer immunotherapies and natural products

February 12, 2016 – Charlottetown, PEI — Networks of Centres of Excellence

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, joined by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, and the Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island, announced two significant investments in research commercialization centres. In Charlottetown, the Natural Products Canada (NPC) will receive $14 million over five years, in support of its work to establish Canada as a global leader in the development and marketing of natural products. In Montréal, the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) will receive funding of $15 million over five years to develop, translate and commercialize cancer immunotherapy.

These two recipients are the two successful applicants from the most recent competition in the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program. The CECRs match clusters of research expertise with the business community, facilitating the development of products and technologies at a stage in the commercialization process where it is otherwise difficult to attract private-sector investment.


“Today’s CECR recipients reflect the impressive depth and quality of research conducted here in Canada in two vital areas: innovative cancer therapies and ground-breaking natural alternatives to products already on the market. The Government of Canada is proud to support this important stage on the research spectrum: getting products out of the lab and into the market, so that they can begin to improve the lives of Canadians.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The CECR program helps to fill that important gap between conducting research, and being able to develop a commercially viable product. Today’s announcement is yet another example of the great scientific research that is being done across the country, and the tremendous efforts that these researchers are making to dream beyond their research, and to how they can improve our quality of life. Congratulations to both successful organizations.” – The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“Our research ecosystem needs to be balanced in a way that supports the constant interchange between discovery and innovation. Commercialization centres satisfy a very specific need, by providing a solid connection between the ideas generated by foundational research and the expertise that can take the most promising ideas towards commercialization.” – B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Chair, Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee

“By harnessing the power of the immune system, we have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. These are game-changing therapies, and with this support C3i can work to ensure a brighter future for cancer patients. At the same time, Canada has the expertise in this area to become a world leader and take advantage of the tremendous business opportunity presented by immunotherapy. C3i will act as a catalyst to support this development.” – Lambert Busque, Chief Medical Officer, C3i

“This funding will enable us to link Canada’s natural products assets, strengthen the sector’s position within the global market and realize positive outcomes for Canadians. Together with our founding partners, we can connect existing research, infrastructure and expertise from regions across Canada, and we are pleased to lead the first national CECR hosted in the Maritimes.” – Shelley R. King, Chief Executive Officer of Natural Products Canada