Research networks awarded $94 million

Seven networks in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program have been awarded $94.3 million over four years by the federal government.

The networks funded include the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network, the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, Micronet, the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, the Mechanical Wood-Pulps Network, the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research and the Protein Engineering Network. All succeeded in a competition for funding that included the 10 original networks launched in 1989.

The NCE program also includes four networks established in 1995 that will be funded until 2002, contingent on a positive mid-term evaluation next year.

UBC researchers participate in all 14 networks of the NCE program, with the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network headquartered on campus.

The program brings together research teams from all provinces and disciplines to work in cooperation with universities, industry and government.

"Our investigators are ecstatic about this news," says Malcolm McMillan, director of the NCE Administration Office at UBC. "It means they can plan new research and complete existing projects. Until now, we weren't sure which of the original networks in the program would exist beyond March 1998."

The recent funding announcement shows the government's continuing commitment to the future of the NCE program, McMillan says.

NCE funding will end March 31, 1998 for the NeuroScience Network, Concrete Canada and Inspiraplex Networks after eight years of support.

UBC scientists are now involved in competing for $9 million recently made available to fund new networks.

Further information on the program a can be found at