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Group commits $8M to make Toronto region an international research centre


Toronto, ON – The Toronto Region Research Alliance (TRRA), an alliance of private, public and non-profit leaders intent on transforming the Toronto region into a world-leading centre for research and research-intensive industry, was launched today with the announcement of over $8 million in funding commitments from provincial, federal and regional governments, and regional research and innovation organizations and corporations.

As part of the launch, TRRA released a groundbreaking report, entitled Engaging Innovation, based on 18 months of research and consultation with Toronto region business, government and research leaders. Among the report’s conclusions is that the Toronto region – embracing Hamilton, Guelph, the Waterloo region and the Greater Toronto Area – has been unable to attract and develop research investment, despite compelling factors which point to its potential for success.

“When you compile all of the data, the picture that emerges is very strong and yet, for a variety of reasons, we haven’t attracted the investment you would expect,” says Dr John Evans, chair of the MaRS Discovery District, and co-chair of TRRA along with Gordon M Nixon, president and chief executive officer of RBC Financial Group.

Engaging Innovation lays the foundation for TRRA’s comprehensive plan to place the Toronto region prominently on the international R&D map. TRRA’s goal is to bring together diverse stakeholders to build public and private research capacity in the region, which, in turn, will accelerate the commercialization of research and attract increased R&D investment to the area.

To support the TRRA, Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty today announced his government’s $3.3 million commitment to fund TRRA over three years.

Earlier this year the federal government announced $2.25 million, also over three years, to support the TRRA.

TRRA has raised the balance of its funding in annual contributions from local industry, research organizations, hospitals, universities, colleges and municipalities.

“We couldn’t be more pleased by the support TRRA has received to date,” says Gordon Nixon. “Both the provincial and the federal governments have been with us right from the beginning and we will continue to work closely with them and our members to achieve our very ambitious plans. Today is a celebration of all of our partners and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this day a reality.”