Lab Canada

$1.8B for research support in Ontario

Ottawa, ON – Ontario researchers and graduates will receive a substantial increase in government support, the province’s premier, Dalton McGuinty, has announced.

The government is creating the Ontario Research Fund (ORF), which will support leading-edge projects at Ontario institutions.

Speaking at the inauguration of the University of Ottawa’s new Biosciences Complex, the premier said the government is investing $1.8 billion over four years to support both research and commercialization through Ontario’s public and not-for-profit R&D institutions. Requests for proposals for the Ontario Research Fund will be posted on the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade website on June 6, 2005.

The research fund is part of the government’s plan to support scientific, technological and medical research in Ontario universities, colleges, research hospitals and institutions.

The fund will provide Ontario’s research community with one-window access to funding through the following components:

– Research Excellence will invest $217 million for direct and indirect costs of research

– Research Infrastructure will invest $300 million in provincial matching of Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) awards for research infrastructure projects.

The government says has streamlined the program to increase accountability and control through an advisory board and internal ministry accountability. Research capacity will be increased in priority sectors: materials and advanced manufacturing; information and communications technologies; life sciences; energy systems and technologies; agriculture and emerging technologies such as nanotechnology.

The fund will also work closely with the Ontario Research Commercialization Program (to be announced soon), to help ensure that discoveries are moved out of the lab and into the marketplace.

“We have structured our Ontario Research Fund to make it easier for Ontario’s world-class scientists to access funding, as well as to make the funding process more transparent and accountable to taxpayers,” says Joe Cordiano, minister of economic development and trade. “By doing this, we are making sure our best and brightest minds stay where they belong – at home, here in Ontario.”

In addition to the Ontario Research Fund, the government has created new research chairs in bio-agriculture at the University of Guelph, productivity and competitiveness at the University of Toronto and provided $25 million to the Council of Ontario Universities to create an additional eight research chairs. The council has established a selection panel to oversee this process.