OTTAWA - A coalition of Canadian stem cell advocates, researchers and charities is calling for $1.5 billion in private and public funding for stem cell therapy over the next 10 years.

The coalition's action plan is aimed at cementing Canada's reputation as a stem cell leader, one that uses stem cell science to reduce suffering and death from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, vision loss, spinal cord injuries and other conditions.

James Price, the president and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, says the action plan could help millions of people with new, life-changing therapies.

The action plan's call for funding includes a $50 million scaled annual average commitment by the federal government.

The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine estimates the action plan could also create more than 12,000 jobs due to the growth of existing companies and the development of new enterprises aimed at global markets.