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Infrastructure support totalling $48M for 312 Ontario research projects


Ottawa, ON V Ontario’s government is providing research infrastructure support worth a total of $48 million to 312 projects at 20 research institutes across the province.

The funding is being provided through the newly created Ontario Research Fund (ORF).

The funding matches the funding commitment made by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Project funding is shared among the CFI (40%), the province (40%), and the research institutions (20%).

The Ministry of Research and Innovation was created in June this year, and the provincial government says it creation signals the importance the government places on strengthening Ontario as a leading, innovation-based economy and society. The government has committed $1.8 billion over four years to support research and commercialization.

Some of the awards given are listed below. For a complete list of awards, please visit www.ontario.ca/innovation.

University of Guelph – 29 awards totaling $3,642,816
One of the projects will centre on Ontario’s poultry farmers, which represent Canada’s largest share of the poultry industry. Ontario farmers must protect their livestock from disease outbreaks such as avian flu. Researchers at the University of Guelph received funding to purchase lab equipment to understand how to strengthen immune systems in chickens to fight off infections.

McMaster University – 22 awards totaling $2,323,582
Researchers at McMaster University will undertake a project that focuses on the characteristics of proteins produced by the human body when people are healthy or when they have diseases. This will help to identify the most promising targets for new medicines. As a result, more effective drug treatments can be designed. This will help patients suffering from diseases such as cancer.

Queen’s University – 27 awards totaling $3,715,988
Extending the life of Ontario’s highways and railways will save Ontario taxpayers millions of dollars per year. Researchers at Queen’s University received funding to create a laboratory to determine how to strengthen the clay slopes of Ontario’s highway and railway networks. Strengthening the clay slopes will protect Ontario’s highways and railway networks from seasonal erosion and from more serious disruptions such as landslides.

University of Western Ontario – 32 awards totaling $7,773,880
A powerful magnetic resonance imaging machine will enable University of Western Ontario researchers to develop new ways to see the brain functioning and to measure its activities at the cell level without invasive surgery. By studying patients with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or stroke, the researchers hope to find out how these diseases disrupt normal brain functioning, and to test which treatments work best to restore health.

Nipissing University – two awards totaling $523,354
Northern Ontario’s native plants are a key source for new drugs and an important food source for Ontarians. Researchers at Nipissing University received funding for a laser scanning microscope and a specialized digital camera to study the genetic makeup of plants. The results of their research could mean new drugs and a new biotechnology industry in northern Ontario. The research could also result in increased reliable harvests for northern Ontario farmers.

University of Ontario Institute of Technology – three awards totaling $262,100
One of the research projects will develop new tools to measure the impact of chemicals used in industry and farming on Ontario’s fresh water resources. Finding out how short-term intense exposure to these chemicals affects water quality, fish biology or the growth of infectious microbes will be a primary focus of the research. This will help communities protect the quality and safety of their water.

University of Ottawa – 37 awards totaling $3,709,572

Carleton University – eight awards totaling $1,535,928
Controlling emissions from cars and other greenhouse gas polluters is critical to a cleaner and healthier environment. Researchers at the University of Ottawa received funding to purchase specialized sensing equipment to study and monitor combustion and other types of emissions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from our air.

Trent University – six awards totaling $668,959
Since the outbreak of SARS in North America, the understanding of highly infectious diseases has become an important research area. Researchers at Trent University received funding to purchase a specially equipped microscope to study how poxviruses, such as smallpox, multiply and spread in an infected person, and to find new anti-viral drugs to treat the diseases they cause.

Algoma University College – one award of $125,000
As harmful insects multiply, they threaten our crops and forests. A research project being carried out at Algoma University College aims to eliminate pests without damaging crops or forests.

Brock University – six awards totaling $366,264
Childhood obesity is becoming a major health problem in Ontario. Overweight children are more likely to suffer from health problems, which only become worse as they grow into adults. Researchers at Brock University received funding to purchase lab equipment that can help them better understand the causes of childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Laurentian University – 10 awards totaling $629,671
Researchers at Laurentian University received funding to purchase lab equipment such as high-resolution microscopes and lasers to better understand northern Ontario’s oldest rock formations. This project will benefit the mining industry as well as provide Sudbury with a world-class facility that will attract both talent and investment and provide training to young people.

Lakehead University – five awards totaling $487,074
Ontario’s metals mining industry is a key contributor to the province’s economy and a key employer in northern Ontario. Lakehead University researchers received funding for state-of-the-art lab equipment to study how ore deposits are created. The researchers are partnering with mining and exploration companies in the search for new ore deposits both within Ontario and internationally.

Hospital for Sick Children – one award of $544,183
Ryerson University – 12 awards totaling $869,206
University of Toronto – 55 awards totaling $11,795,146
York University – 13 awards totaling $2,338,054

University of Waterloo – 33 awards totaling $6,067,565
Wilfrid Laurier – two awards totaling $159,819
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on a very small scale and has tremendous potential for the high-tech industry, including the plastics industry. The very specialized polymers have important applications in many fields such as fuel cells, biomedical materials, solar batteries and electronic/optic devices. For example, nano-structured polymers could be used to make transparent insulation for windows resulting in reduced heating costs for Ontarians. This research will contribute to Ontario being at the leading edge of the emerging nanotechnology revolution.

University of Windsor – eight awards totaling $506,253
Researchers at the University of Windsor received funding to purchase state-of-the-art computer hardware and software that will allow them to determine how metal manufacturers can create light and durable materials for car parts. This research will ensure that Ontario continues to be an international leader in car parts manufacturing.