Speech Article from  Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Archived - Announcement of CANARIE's Funding and Mandate Renewal

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, PC, MP
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Ottawa, Ontario
August 8, 2012

Check Against Delivery

Thank you, Louis, for the introduction, and thanks to the University of Ottawa for hosting this event.

I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the $62-million investment in CANARIE that was announced in Economic Action Plan 2012.

This funding provides certainty and stability for the next three years of the network's operation.

CANARIE is a prime example of the leading-edge digital infrastructure that my colleague Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, has referred to when talking about the digital economy.

With its 19,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable linking more than 40,000 scientists, researchers and educators across the country, CANARIE is the bedrock for new advancements in science, health care and other important disciplines. These advancements improve our health, our environment, our economy and our future.

I'll give you an example. You have heard about the recent breakthrough in physics that has likely confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson subatomic particle, also known as "the God particle."

What you may not know is that TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, contributed to this discovery by crunching massive amounts of data from the Large Hadron Collider, which is housed at the Swiss laboratory where the discovery took place. From what I understand, a massive amount of data generated from the Large Hadron Collider—8 petabytes (roughly 8 million gigabytes) of data annually—is delivered to Canadian scientists at TRIUMF via CANARIE's ultra-high-speed network.

Canada's role in this amazing breakthrough would not have been possible without CANARIE. To put things in perspective: transmitting one minute's worth of experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider over CANARIE would take a full day to get here on the commercial Internet—and that's if the massive flood of data didn't crash it.

And CANARIE's capacity to move enormous amounts of data has helped Canadian scientists and researchers make important discoveries at many other institutions, such as Genome Canada; NEPTUNE Canada, Canada's oceanography lab; and SNOLAB, an underground neutrino and dark-matter physics lab near Sudbury, Ontario.

But beyond its core mandate as Canada's premier research and education network, CANARIE has been making a valuable contribution to other government priorities, such as the economy and Canada's global competiveness.

It's a fact that Canada continues to lag behind peer nations in business R&D. That is something our government is working hard to change. And, as many of you have come to know, it is also one of my priorities.

One of the ways we can promote business R&D and accelerate commercialization is by providing targeted support for high-growth companies through research collaborations and applied research. CANARIE greatly enables that kind of collaboration.

Last year, CANARIE launched the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research program, or DAIR. This pilot program supported a key element of Canada's digital economy strategy—namely, helping to grow our information and communications technology industry.

DAIR gave small and medium-sized digital technology firms access to CANARIE's reliable, ultra-fast network to design and test their products, share massive amounts of data and accelerate innovation, giving them a first-to-market advantage.

CANARIE is changing with the times in other ways as well. Traffic over the network has increased nearly 600 percent in the past five years. In response, CANARIE has been able to adapt and will continue to do so to meet this burgeoning user demand.

The $62-million investment we are making in CANARIE over the next three years will help enable these upgrades and help provide Canadians with a cutting-edge network that remains an important tool for innovation and research.

With this funding, we are also reaffirming our government's commitment to leading-edge advanced research infrastructure, as laid out in Economic Action Plan 2012.

Our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The work of CANARIE helps to sustain the high-paying, specialized jobs in the ICT sector that are important to Canada's digital economy.

CANARIE has helped Canada's greatest minds accomplish incredible things, and we look forward to that track record of success continuing.

Thank you.

See also:

News Release: Harper Government Renews Commitment to Leading-Edge Research Infrastructure

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Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Economic Action Plan

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