Big Returns Expected From FedDev Program

October 11, 2012 - News Release

An expected $12 million worth of new industry-sponsored research will be generated through University of Guelph collaborations with Ontario businesses sparked by a new federal funding program.

Under a pilot project, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) provided $750,000 in 2010 through its applied research and commercialization program for U of G to work with 14 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario.

The agency recently invested another $650,000 to extend the initiative with U of G through March 2013, supporting 10 new projects at U of G.

The investment is expected to generate a more than tenfold return through ongoing partnerships between U of G and various Ontario SMEs, said Erin Skimson, director of U of G’s Catalyst Centre. The centre helps protect and commercialize U of G discoveries and ideas, and helps industry bring innovative products and services to market.

“The investment is contributing to Ontario’s future economic development, leading to new jobs, products and related industries,” Skimson said. Through the program, the Catalyst Centre has helped businesses ready their products, practices and processes for market.

The partnerships span diverse industry sectors, including food, water treatment, environmental science, bioproducts and animal care. More than 20 additional projects have been supported through other funding organizations, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“The project has been a huge success for the University,” said Kevin Hall, U of G vice-president (research). “We’ve been able to build relationships with these businesses, and it’s going to have a long-lasting effect on our research enterprise as well as on Ontario’s economy.”

Among the projects:

  • SiREM, a Guelph-based remediation company, is working with environmental sciences professors Jack Trevors and Hung Lee to use organisms to remove harmful chemicals from water.

  • MicroSentesis Inc. of Oakville, Ont., and Guelph food scientist Mansel Griffiths have created a probiotic to prevent E. coli contamination of food products.

  • 4iBIO, a biotech startup based in Oakville, collaborated with clinical studies professor Mark Hurtig to create prosthetic hip and knee joints for osteoarthritis patients. Through this partnership, the company hopes to become a global innovator in osteoarthritis treatment, and create jobs and sales opportunities in southwestern Ontario.

In addition, the support has helped the Catalyst Centre establish and expand its industry liaison program, which recently added two industry liaison officers.

Said Skimson: “We’re grateful for the FedDev support and will continue to work hard to ensure that applied research contributes to making a difference in the lives of Canadians.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or

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