Harper Government building pan-Canadian networks to strengthen health research


Invests over $13M to support the launch of research networks in the areas of respiratory health, stroke, and vascular health

February 24, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose was joined by Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, to announce the launch of three pan-Canadian research networks: the Canadian Respiratory Research Network, the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network, and the Canadian Vascular Network.

The Emerging Networks will bring together Canada's best minds in these three fields of research. They will include a broad group of researchers and stakeholders, ranging from areas of basic discovery to clinical trials, to health systems and services as well as population health. The Networks will generate new knowledge and bridge gaps between research and outcomes. Together, they will build a critical mass of technical and scientific expertise to enhance research innovation and impact.

The Networks will develop a co-ordinated national approach to evaluating and resolving specific research challenges. They will provide a forum for sharing ideas, resources, and best practices. They will also allow Canada to attract, train, and retain the best talent in health research. Finally, through their strong leadership, the Emerging Networks will align stakeholders within their respective communities to work toward the attainment of common goals.

The ultimate goal of each Emerging Network is to translate research into practice for the benefit of Canadian patients.

Quick Facts

  • More than twenty partners from industry, health charities, and academic institutions are providing support to these Networks, including the Canadian Lung Association, Hypertension Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  • The Emerging Networks will move research evidence into practice. They will create health care innovations, thereby improving health outcomes for Canadians.
  • The Emerging Networks fit within the wider Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). SPOR is a national coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners (patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centres, charities, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical sector) dedicated to the integration of research into care.
  • The Emerging Networks also have an important training and career development mandate. The Networks, through targeted training programs, will ensure a strong pipeline of young, diverse, and skilled researchers across all these fields.


"Finding innovative ways to improve the care provided to Canadians is important for our Government. The Emerging Networks will move research evidence into practice that will ultimately help Canadians. This partnership between government, academic institutions, health charities, and industry is an excellent example of how we can leverage partnerships and empower Canadian research communities for the benefit of all Canadians." 
- Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is a leader in carrying out innovative research and translating the results into world class care. I want to congratulate the brilliant researchers at OHRI who will be leading the vascular and respiratory networks. These national initiatives will benefit people living in the Ottawa region and across the country." 
- Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans

"On behalf of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, I wish to extend my congratulations and appreciation to all the researchers and stakeholders involved in the Emerging Networks. This is yet another example of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research in action. The Emerging Networks involve a coalition of partners working together to conduct transformative research. They will make discoveries and bring new practices, treatments, and therapies to the front lines of health care."
- Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"I am delighted to lead the Canadian Vascular Network. It's an exciting initiative that brings together researchers and partners from across Canada and across disciplines to tackle the many devastating diseases caused by blood vessel damage. With the team we've assembled, I'm confident that our efforts will result in real improvements in patient care."
- Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

"Chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD affect children, adults, and the elderly. More than 10% of Canadians are currently living with asthma or COPD," "The Canadian Respiratory Research Network will bring experts from across the country together to improve our understanding of COPD and asthma and improve patient care."
- Dr. Shawn Aaron, Director, Canadian Respiratory Research Network

"The Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (C-SPIN) now links world-class researchers from across Canada and across a variety of fields, including medicine, surgery, nursing, pharmacy, population health, and social sciences. With the substantial support of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and several pharmaceutical and cardiac device industry partners, C-SPIN will support clinical trials aimed at finding innovative ways to prevent stroke among individuals with a common heart rhythm condition called atrial fibrillation. C-SPIN will also support the recruitment and retention of the next generation of Canadian clinical researchers in this field. The collaboration and funding of C-SPIN will allow Canadian scientists to conduct trials for important clinical questions, which would otherwise not be possible." 
- Dr. Jeff Healey, Principal Investigator and Chair, C-SPIN

"The Heart and Stroke Foundation commitment of $1 million over five years to the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network will improve the health of Canadians by accelerating research findings into practice. By leveraging the expertise of multiple centres and the commitment of our funding partners, this research will directly address the impact of atrial fibrillation, a major risk factor for stroke, with the goal of reducing stroke in Canada by 10 per cent within 10 years."
- Bobbe Wood, President, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

"Having a network that brings diverse experts together means that we have a better chance of translating innovative research into optimal care for those who are actually affected by asthma and COPD, the two most common chronic lung diseases in Canada." 
- Debra Lynkowski, President and CEO, Canadian Lung Association

"Since high blood pressure is the number one global risk of burden of disease, Hypertension Canada is delighted to be a partner within the Canadian Vascular Network, which will investigate different conditions caused by disease of blood vessels such as hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, cognitive decline and dementia, among many others. Hypertension Canada will contribute to funding the training programs of the Canadian Vascular Network, so that in the near future we will have more scientists that will advance knowledge and help combat the epidemic of vascular disease, improving outcomes for Canadians, including the 7.4 million Canadians with high blood pressure."
- Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, President, Hypertension Canada

"Boehringer Ingelheim is pleased to be a partner in the Canadian Respiratory Research Network as well as the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network, two innovative programs that will help to accelerate important research and have a significant impact on improving patient outcomes. These programs will help address an ongoing burden for millions of patients and their families impacted by the effects of stroke and respiratory disorders."
- Dr. Ted Witek, President and CEO Boehringer Ingelheim

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