Toronto, February 28, 2008 – MaRS Innovation, a commercialization partnership of 14 Toronto-based academic research institutions, is among 11 new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs) announced this month in Ottawa.

As a CECR, MaRS Innovation will receive $14.95 million for a five-year program to accelerate the commercialization of promising research from its member institutions. The Founding Board Chair of MaRS Innovation is Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children.

Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, made the announcement as part of $163 million to establish 11 new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs).

“Today’s announcement marks a milestone in Canadian research history,” Minister Prentice said. “The technologies, therapies, services and products generated by these new centres will help improve the well-being of all Canadians while positioning Canada at the forefront of priority research areas. As we stated in our Science and Technology Strategy, this Government is committed to encouraging these exciting, multidisciplinary partnerships between the private, academic and public sectors.”

The 11 CECRs and their funding amounts are:

  • MaRS Innovation, Toronto – $14.95 million
  • Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS), Vancouver, BC – $14.95 million
  • Bioindustrial Innovation Centre, Sarnia, ON – $14.95 million
  • Centre for the Commercialization of Research (CCR), Ottawa – $14.95 million
  • Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Vancouver – $14.95 million
  • Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPM), Montreal – $13.8 million
  • Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), Hamilton, ON – $14.95 million
  • Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer CECR in Therapeutics Discovery (IRICoR), Montreal – $14.95 million
  • The Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRIADD), Vancouver – $14.95 million
  • Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), Saskatoon, SK – $14.95 million
  • CECR in the Prevention of Epidemic Organ Failure (PROOF), Vancouver – $14.95 million

The 2007 federal budget set aside $195 million over the next two years to create new Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research in four priority areas: environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and life sciences, and information and communication technologies. These 11 CECRs join seven Centres of Excellence announced in Budget 2007. The CECR program is a cornerstone of Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy. One of the goals of the strategy is to encourage more private-sector investment in research and development. The strategy also emphasizes capitalizing on our people, knowledge and entrepreneurial advantages to build a stronger Canadian society and economy.

For more information on MaRS Innovation, contact:
Tony Redpath
VP, Partner Programs

For information on CECRs, please contact:
Natasha Gauthier
Communications Manager, National Centres of Excellence

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District ( is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.
For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District