Response to today’s announcement on the future of NCEs

The federal government announced today that the NCE program will be phased out over the next four years, with the funding for the NCEs to be directed to the New Frontiers in Research Fund.

For 30 years, the Networks funded under this NCE program have focused research, training and partner resources on some of Canada’s most critical social and economic challenges, producing research breakthroughs, increased private sector R&D and a workforce of 48,000 highly qualified personnel.

Every network remains fully committed to continuing their important work during this transition phase.  Our understanding is that all of the current Networks will continue operations, will continue to support research projects, training, and partnership activities.

We are working with the federal government to understand their new priorities and strategic direction.  With the eventual phasing out of the NCE program itself, Networks will be seeking to identify ways to continue their work under the New Frontiers in Research Fund or other funding programs.

Personally, I am extremely proud of the achievements GlycoNet has made in just over three years of existence with more than 140 researchers across 31 organizations collaborating to address human health issues. We intend to continue a strong track record of value-added training and a focus on translational research to tangible outcomes, including company formation.  This has only been possible through the dedicated work of everyone involved in the Network from the undergraduate students we fund to the Board of Directors that oversees our activities.

GlycoNet will continue operations, to support research projects, training, and partnership activities. In light of today’s news, we will be submitting a three-year renewal application. If our renewal efforts are successful, our NCE funding will end March 31, 2023. Until then, it is business as usual. As part of this renewal strategy, we will continue to work on funding strategies through other means.

There is a lot that can be learned from the accomplishments of this innovative program, and we are committed to ensuring that Canadians continue to benefit fully from the investment in and delivery of important human health research that impacts their quality of life.

Dr. Todd Lowary

Scientific Director
Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet)

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