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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Saskatchewan

PARTNERSHIP GIVES MAJOR BOOST TO SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCHERS

Saskatchewan's health research community took a big step forward today

when Health Minister Pat Atkinson, Economic and Co-operative

Development Minister Janice MacKinnon and Dr. Henry Friesen, President

of the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC) announced a

$10 million, five-year regional partnership program that will help

retain health researchers in Saskatchewan and attract new talent to

the province.



The Province of Saskatchewan has committed $1 million annually to the

program and the MRC will match the provincial contribution over the

five years of the program. Saskatchewan Health and the Health

Services Utilization and Research Commission will contribute a total

of $750,000 annually while Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative

Development will fund $250,000 per year.



"Saskatchewan has always had the brains and talent for excellent

research," Atkinson said. "Now we will strengthen the funding

opportunities as well. This is a milestone day for our research

community, thanks to the initiative of the MRC and the vision of the

other partners in the program who recognized the potential of our

researchers and took action to fulfil their promise."



The MRC Regional Partnership Program ensures greater opportunity for

researchers to obtain funding for projects which can range from genes

to population health, from the human body to the health system.

"These investments in innovative health research will create

opportunities for our scientists and young graduates our best

and brightest minds," MacKinnon said. "This new funding will

help them create new health products and new technologies. It

will also enable them to contribute in a major way to the culture

of research excellence and the knowledge-based economy we are

building here in Saskatchewan."



Researchers will submit their proposals to the MRC using existing

MRC guidelines and procedures. The $10 million from the Regional

Partnership Program will be used to support health research

projects which are judged to be worth funding through the MRC's

peer review process but do not receive other MRC funding.



"This partnership will build health research capacity and enhance

Saskatchewan's reputation as a centre for quality health research

initiatives," Dr. Friesen said. "Canadian scientists who aspire

to international excellence can be confident that their future is

here at home."



Saskatchewan Health's contribution to the program increases its

direct investment in health research to more than $5.3 million

annually, an increase of 68 per cent since 1991.



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For more information, contact:



Jeff Brown

Saskatchewan Health

Regina, Phone: (306) 787-4088



Bob Ellis

Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development

Regina, Phone: (306) 787-1691
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