Alberta Health and Innovation Organizations Invest in Phase II of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research

$21 million investment in the Alberta SPOR Support Unit will put patients at the center of health research

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, August 31, 2022 – Alberta Innovates, the University Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), together with the Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) and Alberta Health Services, are pleased to announce an investment to continue building a national initiative to ensure health research is relevant to patients and their health outcomes.

The Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) is a pan-Canadian initiative established by CIHR that ensures patients have a voice in health research, and findings and results from this research are implemented into practice. Alberta Innovates established AbSPORU in 2013 with the aim to improve Alberta’s health research ecosystem. Phase II, for AbSPORU, will entail mobilizing capacity for patient-oriented research generated throughout SPOR Phase I to help bring evidence- and patient-informed transformation and innovation to improve the health outcomes of all Albertans.

Alberta Innovates will invest $6.7 million into Phase II of AbSPORU as part of a combined $21 million in financial support from CIHR ($13 million) and the University Hospital Foundation ($1.25 million). In-kind support will come from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research InstituteAlberta Health ServicesAthabasca UniversityUniversity of AlbertaUniversity of CalgaryUniversity of Lethbridge, and the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.

AbSPORU will continue to have a significant impact on Alberta’s research, innovation and healthcare ecosystems by providing essential training, research support and strategic transformational change, all with the goal of building an integrated Learning Health System.

Phase II of AbSPORU will continue to listen to the patient voice throughout the entire research process and in the implementation of best practices related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA+).

Researchers who conduct patient-oriented research can continue to engage AbSPORU as a multidisciplinary research service hub, accessing data, research supports, training and connecting to a community of other researchers and patient partners. For a full list of AbSPORU’s research services, visit

"Alberta-based innovation and research have the ability to improve health outcomes, diversify our economy, and create jobs. This investment supports ongoing health research and will strengthen Alberta’s position as a hub for world-class research, helping to attract investment and talent to our province."
Jason Copping, Minister of Health
"Alberta Innovates is pleased to partner with CIHR to administer the Alberta SPOR Support Unit. When we put patients at the center of research, we expect positive outcomes. This investment is not only good news for patient-oriented research but for the health and wellbeing of Albertans."
Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
"Our work at CIHR has made patient-oriented research no longer just a concept in Canada; patients and researchers are working together to produce measurable improvements in service delivery and health care practice across the country. Patient-oriented research wouldn’t be where it is today without the ongoing support and contributions from all SPOR-funded entities and their steadfast commitment to patient-oriented research in each of their communities."
Dr. Michael Strong, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
"As a catalyst in health ecosystem leadership in Alberta, the University Hospital Foundation is thrilled to support this far-reaching initiative that puts patients at the centre of health research."