EDMONTON, AB, June 8, 2021 – Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a serious condition affecting deer, elk and other cervid populations throughout Alberta. Prevalence of CWD has increased each year since it was first detected in Alberta in 2005. The issue occurs in both wild animals as well as farmed elk and deer in Alberta, costing producers considerable resources, time, and money. In an effort to mitigate the impact of CWD, Alberta Innovates is announcing the launch of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research Program.

The CWD Research Program intends to:

  • better understand the mechanism and transmission of CWD,
  • develop innovative approaches that contribute to the diagnosis, prevention, cure, and possible elimination of the disease, and
  • better understand the societal and economic impact of CWD in Alberta.

Projects could provide information useful to all levels of government for the development of public policies regarding CWD. Researchers from academic institutions, as well as for-profit small and medium-sized businesses, are encouraged to apply.

Alberta Innovates is making up to $1 million available over a two-year period to support projects to find solutions to the challenges that are faced from CWD. Eligible projects can apply for up to $250 thousand. Projects must include partner funding and be completed by December 31, 2023. Applications are due August 4, 2021. Alberta Innovates hosted a webinar for those interested in applying (on June 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. MDT). View a recording of the webinar:

Full application details can be found on the CWD Research Program webpage.

“Chronic wasting disease is a devastating illness. Alberta Innovates’ Chronic Wasting Disease Research Program will engage some of the brightest minds in prion science in the search for solutions to this disease. We look forward to the results that flow from this research.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates


Chronic wasting disease is a prion disease caused by misfolded prion proteins in the brains of cervids (deer, elk, caribou).

The CWD funding opportunity is looking for researchers who are working with prions, with a focus on CWD. The intent of the program is to encourage collaboration within Alberta, and between Alberta-based investigators and researchers outside of Alberta, to focus better understanding the disease and developing innovative risk management strategies to control CWD.

Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first public research and innovation organization. For a century we have worked closely with researchers, companies and entrepreneurs – trailblazers who built the province’s industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide, driven by emerging technologies across sectors. We are a provincial corporation that provides seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, along with avenues for partnership and collaboration. Learn how Alberta innovates.


Dwayne Brunner

Senior Manager, Media & Strategic Community Relations