CALGARY — Today, [26 Nov 2003] Carmen Charette, Senior Vice-President of the Canada
Foundation for Innovation (CFI) was joined by the Honourable Stephen Owen,
Secretary of State (Western Economic Diversification), on behalf of Allan Rock,
Minister of Industry, to announce an investment of $7.9 million to provide
Canadian researchers access to the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in
Chile. ALMA is, by international consensus, the most important development in
radio astronomy in this decade.

Access to ALMA will help maintain Canada’s position amongst the top three
nations in terms of academic research in radio astronomy and will be of great
importance to our understanding of the origins of stars and planetary systems.

"This investment represents an important step forward in supporting the highest
levels of research excellence," said Industry Minister Allan Rock. "It will
allow Canadian research institutions and their researchers access to the first
ever ëworld observatory.’"

"Today’s investment will make it possible for Canadian researchers to witness
the formation of the earliest and most distant galaxies and to examine the
details of star and planet formation," said Mrs. Charette. "But ALMA will go far
beyond these main science drivers, and will have a major impact on virtually all
areas of astronomy."

"Canada’s researchers have made outstanding contributions to the development of
science and innovation in Canada," said Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veteran
Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development). "This
strategic investment in the knowledge-based economy will ultimately improve
Canada’s economic performance in the global market."

ALMA represents the merger of a number of major millimeter array projects into
one global project. McMaster University will be working closely with the
project’s administrative lead institution: the University of Calgary. This
15-country partnership includes all the leading research institutions in
astronomy for which this is the priority program. It is jointly led by the
National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the United States and the European
Southern Observatory. The project leader for the CFI is Russ Taylor, Professor
of Astronomy at the University of Calgary.

"These strategic, international partnerships will allow Canadian researchers to
be at the cutting-edge of scientific research," said Stephen Owen, Secretary of
State (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern
Development). "Through collaboration projects such as the one announced today,
we will without a doubt improve the quality of life for all Canadians."

This announcement is the fifth of nine large-scale international research
projects being funded under the CFI’s two International Funds — the
International Joint Ventures Fund and the International Access Fund. The
International Access Fund, which includes projects such as ALMA, provides access
for Canadian institutions and their best researchers to facilities in other
countries and major international collaborative programs. They will perform
innovative research through unique collaborative research opportunities that
will lead to significant benefits for Canada.

The CFI is an independent corporation established by the Government of Canada in
1997 to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research
hospitals, and other non-profit research organizations to carry out world-class
research and technology development.

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