Université Laval receives $54.8 million grant to pursue the CCGS Amundsen’s scientific mission
Québec City, August 19, 2022—Université Laval will receive a major funding from the government of Canada of $54,849,938 to continue managing and developing the scientific work being done aboard the CCGS Amundsen, a renowned research icebreaker based in Québec City. This financial assistance will ensure the continued strength of the research being done by the Canadian and international scientific community in Canada’s Arctic seas.
The money is from the Canada Foundation for Innovation Major Science Initiatives Fund. The Fund is designed to meet the ongoing operational and maintenance needs of research facilities of national importance.
This Friday in Sudbury, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced his government would provide more than $628 million to support 19 research infrastructure projects at 14 institutions across the country, including Université Laval.
The Foundation’s President and CEO, Roseann O’Reilly Runte, had this to say of the CCGS Amundsen’s vital mandate:
“The Canada Foundation for Innovation is proud to contribute to the Amundsen's many scientific successes, providing tangible learning opportunities for the next generation of researchers while improving the body of knowledge on topics such as Arctic marine ecosystems and the health of Canadian Inuit. This work has a profound and lasting impact on Canadian policy in the North.”
The rector of Université Laval was very pleased with the announcement and highlighted the positive impact the funding will have on the entire Canadian scientific community and its international partners.
“It’s wonderful to have the importance of the research conducted aboard the Amundsen recognized in this way. It validates the efforts of researchers to understand and anticipate changes in the Arctic Ocean. That work allows government leaders in each country to make better decisions as they work to protect the Arctic and, by extension, our global ecosystem.”
The CCGS Amundsen has been sailing the Canadian Arctic since 2003. It allows researchers to study marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change. Each year, the icebreaker accommodates hundreds of members of the scientific community to work on innovative and multidisciplinary programs. Together, they address some of the most pressing issues of our time.
“We thank the federal government and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for helping us to pursue our mission,” said Marcel Babin, Scientific Director of the Amundsen Science University Consortium. “Over the past two decades, 125 teams from 25 countries have worked aboard the Amundsen. They have conducted more than 45 major science programs that have allowed more than 800 students to gain valuable research experience. Thanks to their work, we now have a better grasp of changes in the Arctic ecosystem. But there is still much to be done,” he added.
The money will fund the CCGS Amundsen’s scientific operations and technical support for the research community until 2029, and will also be used to prepare field equipment and manage expeditions.
“This grant will allow Amundsen Science to pursue and expand its mission to support Canadian and international polar research by coordinating the CCGS Amundsen’s scientific expeditions with the Canadian Coast Guard and by deploying an extensive array of highly specialized scientific equipment,” said Alexandre Forest, Executive Director of Amundsen Science.
“The major investments announced today will help maintain Canada’s Arctic research community in a leading position. Innovation, multidisciplinary studies and research objectives codesigned with northern populations will continue to be the driving forces behind the infrastructure mission, particularly in training the next generation of researchers,” said Audrey Limoges, adjunct professor at the University of New Brunswick and user of the research icebreaker.
The CCGS Amundsen will set sail from the Port of Québec on September 8 for a six-week scientific mission in the Labrador Sea and in Baffin Bay. This will be its first outing in 2022, after having been docked for nine months for a complete equipment and navigation system upgrade.