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Research projects in Ontario get $94M funding boost


Toronto, ON – The Ontario government has begun announcing the successful recipients of $94 million in funding that will support 31 research projects and 300 researchers across the province.

The funding supports numerous projects across the province dealing with basic science and research into information and communications technologies, clean technologies and digital media.

On Friday, successful projects at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa were identified. The six projects involved will share $23 million. Government spokespeople say that announcements for the remaining 25 projects will be made sometime soon.

The successful Ottawa projects are as follows:

Ontario Regional Biotherapeutics Program (ORBiT)
Lead Institution: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Lead Researcher: Dr John Bell
Number of Researchers Affected: 14
Provincial Funding: $10,074,953
Funding Program: Ontario Institute of Cancer Research
Biotherapeutics describes therapies based on biological materials, including cells, genes and viruses, which are potentially much more powerful than traditional pharmaceutical therapies.
Key private sector partners: Jennerex Biotherapeutics

Novel Strategies for Enhancing Oncolytic Virus-Mediated Cancer Therapy
Lead Institution: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Lead Researcher: Dr Michael McBurney
Number of Researchers Affected: 9
Provincial Funding: $4,188,814
Funding Program: Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence
An oncolytic virus infects and breaks down cancer cells but not normal cells. It is a type of targeted therapy. Ottawa Health Research Institute’s Program in Cancer Therapeutics (PCT) plans to use its expertise and its industrial partners’ experience to discover better oncolytic virus genotypes and virus and drug combinations to improve human cancer treatment.
Key private sector partners: Jennerex Biotherapeutics, Matrix Advanced Solutions, Atreus Pharmaceutical

The Next Crucial Step in Genome Research – Mapping Gene Circuit Boards
Lead Institution: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Lead Researcher: Dr Michael Rudnicki Number of Researchers Affected: 66
Provincial Funding: $3,828,498
Funding Program: Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence
Launched in 2004, the Ottawa Health Research Institute’s International Regulome Consortium (IRC) is an ambitious, Canadian-led international research effort. It brings together over 66 investigators from 34 institutions in 12 countries. Its focus is mapping gene regulatory circuit boards (similar to electrical circuits) – the next crucial step in genome research. The findings will help to identify targets for drug development and new therapies for currently untreatable disease.
Key private sector partners: Invitrogen Corporation

National Biorepository for the Partnership for Tomorrow Cohort and the Ontario Health Study
Lead Institution: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Lead Researcher: Dr Brent Zanke
Number of Researchers Affected: 3
Provincial Funding: $426,000
Funding Program: OICR Equipment Grants program
The Ontario Health Study, developed as a collaboration with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, is a prospective epidemiological study of lifestyle and behavioural risk factors and their correlation to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes and cancer. The study will recruit 150,000 people in Ontario age 35-69 and follow them for 20 years. The aim of the multidisciplinary team leading the study is to ultimately improve prevention and early detection of a wide range of illnesses.
Key partners: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research , Cancer Care Ontario and Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

APECS: Advancing Photovoltaics for Economical Concentrator Systems
Lead Institution: University of Ottawa
Lead Researcher: Dr Trevor Hall
Number of Researchers Affected: 6
Provincial Funding: $3,257,966
Funding Program: Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence
The cross-disciplinary team has a goal of establishing high-efficiency concentrating photovoltaic systems as an economically viable technology for grid-connected solar power generation. The research team has set an aggressive target of enabling $2/W concentrator system cost, and $0.07/kW-hr grid parity. The proposed program will contribute directly to improving the environment and reducing non-renewable resource dependence..
Key private sector partners: Cyrium Technologies, OPEL International, Semiconductor Insights

MESSAGEs: Media-Server and Support for Advanced Gaming Environments
Lead Institution: University of Ottawa
Lead Researcher: Dr Nicolas D Georganas
Number of Researchers Affected: 8
Provincial Funding: $1,238,027
Funding Program: Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence
Combining high mobility and high performance has great potential in mobile wireless handsets, automobile technological systems and other applications, but there are major technical and creative challenges. Through MEdia-Server and Support for Advanced Gaming Environments (MESSAGEs), the University of Ottawa’s proposed research will identify solutions to these challenges, with a team of leading Canadian researchers from diverse fields and private sector partners.
Key private sector partners: IBM, Larus Technologies