CFI invests $17.4 million in Canadian Research Data Centre Network

L R Wilson Hall gleaming in the sunrise

McMaster University’s Research Data Centre, located at L.R. Wilson Hall, provides researchers with access to a large number of Statistics Canada’s population, social, and health surveys, as well as the Census and administrative databases.

The Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN), headquartered at McMaster, has received $17.4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The CRDCN is being funded through CFI’s Major Science Initiatives Fund,  designed to keep large, complex research facilities on the cutting edge to support Canadian and global research communities.

The funding is part of a total of more than $628 million from CFI, announced Friday, to support 19 research infrastructure projects at 14 institutions across the country.

“Today’s investment in CFI’s Major Science Initiatives supports nationally significant research facilities driving innovation to ensure Canada is equipped to maintain its leadership and train the next generation of world-class researchers,” said François-Philippe Champagne, federal minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“Canadians are placing us on the world stage by making bold discoveries and challenging our world’s most pressing issues to advance our society, well-being, and environment for all to thrive.”

Co-funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and in partnership with Statistics Canada and 33 universities across the country, the CRDCN provides researchers with unique access to Statistics Canada census and surveys, as well as to an increasing number of administrative data files.

CFI’s investment will enable the CRDCN members to advance social sciences and health research and inform public policy in Canada, said executive director Martin Taylor.

“This funding is critical to the next phase of the CRDCN’s support of social science and health research and associated public policy in Canada,” Taylor said.

“The investment is coupled with the most ambitious infrastructure project since the CRDCN’s inception in 2000 – the virtual Research Data Centre (vRDC) platform. For the first time, the vRDC will provide the Network’s social science and health researchers with secure remote access to Statistics Canada confidential microdata, as well as enhancing their access at the Research Data Centres (RDCs) on partner university campuses.”

The investment will support researchers in accessing relevant data and training in data analysis, so that they may continue to address vital questions, said Karen Mossman, McMaster’s vice-president of research.

“The CRDCN is a valuable resource for researchers here at McMaster and at universities across Canada,” Mossman said.

“This funding will ensure that current and future generations of leaders in social and health sciences continue to make discoveries that inform evidence-based policies and create social, economic, health and environmental benefits for Canadians.”

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