June 23, 2014

Dr. Brian Postl Appointed Inaugural Chair of Research Manitoba Board of Directors: Minister Oswald

The Manitoba government is establishing Research Manitoba (RM), a new research funding organization that will bring existing research funding sources into a single, co-ordinated organization, under the chairmanship of Dr. Brian Postl, Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.

"By supporting research and innovation, Research Manitoba will help generate new businesses and help existing companies become more globally competitive," said Minister Oswald. "It will help Manitoba entrepreneurs, researchers, skilled workers and ambitious young people find good opportunities to pursue their dreams right here at home."

Research Manitoba will bring major provincial research funding programs together under one umbrella, making more focused and effective use of research dollars and building on the province's strengths and strategic priorities, the minister said. This will include the Manitoba Health Research Council, the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund, the Health Research Initiative and the Manitoba Centres of Excellence Fund. RM will receive $17 million in funding in 2014-15.

"We are pleased that Dr. Postl has agreed to lead Research Manitoba, and his appointment reflects the depth of his experience, knowledge and community involvement," said Minister Oswald. "Under his expert leadership, RM will take research in the province to the next level and ensure research funding is awarded in strategic priority areas, guided by business and research expertise."

"Changes in the research landscape are emerging; to keep ahead of these changes Research Manitoba will encourage our researchers to collaborate and engage across disciplines, faculties and institutions," said Postl. "Part of our role will be to create strategic opportunities that allow the research community to turn their discoveries into an innovative future."

Research Manitoba will focus on areas in which the province has established research expertise and business innovation, as well as exploring opportunities to leverage research funding from national and international sources, and pursuing opportunities with strong commercial potential, the minister said.

"As our province's primary funder of research, Research Manitoba is the foundation on which our new innovation strategy is built," said Minister Oswald. "It complements initiatives announced in recent months to improve the commercialization of research and the financing of innovative companies including the enhanced Commercialization Support for Business Program, the Innovation Growth Sidecar Fund and the enhanced Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit."

The Research Manitoba board of directors will be charged with managing the new organization and will consist of at least nine, but not more than 17 directors, who will be appointed by the lieutenant-governor in council upon the recommendation of the minister. Manitoba Health Research Council staff and board members will make up the initial staff and board of Research Manitoba, with additional board members appointed in the coming months to ensure more representation from other fields of research and from the business community, Minister Oswald said.


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