Government strikes a chord in McGill communications laboratory

/ Photo: Owen Egan.
Dr. Tho Le-Ngoc (centre), Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explains the anechoic chamber in his broadband communications laboratory to Ministers Gary Goodyear (left) and Christian Paradis (right). / Photo: Owen Egan.

By William Raillant-Clark

Dr. Tho Le-Ngoc’s Broadband Communications Laboratory was the perfect setting for a funding announcement that’s sure to resonate with scientists.

On August 6, the facility – which itself has benefited from significant funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) – hosted Federal Ministers Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, for the announcement of an additional $182 million dollars in Canadian research. The money will be channeled through the Leaders’ Opportunity Fund (LOF) of the CFI as part of the federal Economic Action Plan.

“I want to say to the researchers here today that your work is changing the lives of Canadians and people around the world for the better”, said Minister Goodyear. “Our government is proud of your efforts and of the difference that you make.”

Joining Ministers Goodyear and Paradis for the announcement were Gilles G. Patry, the CFI’s new president and CEO and a former president of the University of Ottawa, and Prof. Christopher Manfredi, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who served as host for the event. All four had the opportunity to visit the facility’s anechoic chamber. Naturally, the announcement wasn’t made in the chamber itself: it’s insulated for sound and electromagnetic waves.

The CFI’ Leaders Opportunities Fund is designed to help universities attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers by supporting some of the infrastructure, operating and maintenance costs of research. Over 170 McGill researchers have benefited from the LOF in the past few years.