Canadian Health Research to Benefit from Government of Canada’s 2018 Budget

March 2018

Dear Friends:

As you know the Stem Cell Network has been planning and working with the government to chart a future direction for stem cell research in Canada. On February 27, the federal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, tabled his third budget in Parliament. The budget included significant commitments to support fundamental science activity over the next five years. We applaud the government for committing to Canada’s science enterprise, and are confident that this will result in important health, social, economic and environmental benefits for Canada. For more detail on Budget 2018 please click here.

We are excited to share with you that SCN has been invited to submit a full application for funding through the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. This provides our Network with a valuable opportunity to build on the significant achievements we have realized over the past 17 years. Some of the key accomplishments of the Network and our members include:

  • Growing a vibrant, national research community that has increased from 35 to nearly 170 research groups, with the approximately 5,000 FTEs from 90 institutions and 11 countries engaged in SCN-supported work;
  • Training of 2,500 highly qualified personnel;
  • Supporting just under 200 translational research projects and leveraging approximately $100 million in partner funding;
  • Catalyzing 18 different clinical trials;
  • Enabling the growth or launch of 16 regenerative medicine biotechnology companies;
  • Generating 600 patent applications (300-400 unique innovations); nearly 100 issued patents, and more than 65 licenses, and;
  • Supporting high quality scholarly research that resulted in over 1,160 peer reviewed articles.

These are impressive achievements and we look forward to amplifying them in the years to come. Over the next few months we will hold a small number of workshops to connect with members of SCN’s community to discuss a new vision: To capitalize upon Canada’s competitive advantage in stem cell research for the benefit of Canadians. We have also articulated three research themes that will guide SCN in the coming years. The research themes are:

  • Theme 1. Anticipating Governance and Policy Needs for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine;
  • Theme 2. Catalyzing Transformative Technologies for Regenerative Medicine, and;
  • Theme 3. Advancing Regenerative Medicine to the Clinic.

Getting your perspective on these themes and the research that can flow from them is incredibly important. We look forward to engaging with you through a workshop about our new direction, and how we can collectively build and strengthen stem cell research in Canada.

Finally, in the coming weeks, we will launch an LOI competition that will help to inform SCN’s application to the NCE program. We hope that you will take the time to participate in this important activity, as participation will be mandatory for those who wish to seek funding from SCN in the next funding competition.

It is an exciting time for Canada’s science community and we are enthusiastic about what lies ahead.


Michael A. Rudnicki, O.C., PhD                                                      Cate Murray

Scientific Director & CEO                                                               Executive Director & COO