Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 30, 2002

Guelph receives $18 million from CFI, largest-ever allocation

The University of Guelph today received its largest-ever allocation from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) -- more than $18 million for six research projects -- including $11 million for a state-of-the-art animal-human health research centre.

“We are, of course, delighted to receive such a substantial investment from CFI, and it is a magnificent tribute to the excellence of our faculty, staff and students,” said President Mordechai Rozanski. “The University of Guelph conducts more health-related research than any other Canadian university without a medical school, and we strive to advance discoveries in the plant and animal life sciences that lead to new technologies and improve the quality of life. These awards will help us leverage our important pure and applied research to create and transfer new knowledge that fosters understanding and transforms discovery into value.”

Guelph was among 69 Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals, and not-for-profit agencies that received more than $779 million in CFI funding, announced by Industry Minister Allan Rock and David Strangway, CFI president and CEO. The six Guelph projects involve more than 200 faculty and researchers from a variety of campus departments and disciplines, and will support research in food safety, chemistry, biodiversity science, breast cancer, reproductive disorders and animal and human health.

“I am overjoyed. The CFI funding will allow us to establish a facility that will be unique in all of Canada,” said John Leatherland, a biomedical sciences professor who was the project leader for the proposal Institute for Animal-Human Links in Health Science Research. The project includes some 40 researchers at the Ontario Veterinary College, all of whom will benefit from having additional resources on hand for their research, as well as scholars from other Guelph departments and collaborators in Quebec, Leatherland said. The institute will include two research laboratory complexes, a surgical-diagnostic research lab linked to an MRI facility and specialized animal holding facilities. “It will allow veterinarians to apply their research to advancing human health and human-health research,” Leatherland said. CFI is funding $11 million of the estimated $27-million project, making it Guelph’s largest-ever single project CFI award.

Guelph’s projects fall under CFI’s Innovation Fund, which enables institutions to strengthen their research infrastructure in all disciplines, and the New Opportunities Fund, which is intended help universities attract and retain high-calibre talent. In addition to CFI funding, the projects are supported by the research institutions and provincial, private- public- and voluntary-sector partners.

“To date, when CFI awards are coupled with contributions from other funding partners, Guelph has received more than $100 million,” said Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research). “These successes are having a major impact on the research fabric of this entire university.”

Other Guelph projects that received CFI approval today are:

From CFI’s Innovation Fund:

  • Up to $4,919,054 to establish the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario that will develop innovative research programs in biodiversity science and identify and protect endangered species, headed by Department of Zoology professor Paul Hebert.

  • Up to $1,624,924 to support the next phase of development of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety, including renovations and improvements, to make Guelph the premier centre in Canada for research in this area. The project is headed by Department of Food Sciences professor Mansel Griffiths

From CFI’s New Opportunities Fund:

  • Up to $238,777 for cutting-edge research in the electron transfer based processes to help develop biosensor technology and methodologies that will benefit the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, headed by Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry professor Abdelazziz Houmam.

  • Up to $159,017 for equipment that will facilitate research that has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of reproductive disorders in women and agriculture animals, headed by Department of Biomedical Sciences professor Jim Petrik.

  • Up to $127,656 for equipment that will be used to investigate genetic and protein alterations that induce breast cancer, headed by Department of Biomedical Sciences professor Roger Moorehead.

The CFI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to address an urgent need of Canada’s research community: new, state-of-the-art research infrastructure. Today’s announcement brings the total CFI investment in research infrastructure at Canadian universities and research institutions since August 1998 to more than $1.55 billion. When coupled with contributions from other funding partners, the resulting total is close to $3.9 billion in capital investment to help strengthen the research environment in Canadian institutions.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, 519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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