Campus News

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

News Release

March 24, 2000

Ontario Innovation Trust invests in multiple University of Guelph research projects

The Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT) will provide a total of more than $12.5 million in funding to the University of Guelph that will be used as the final financial commitments for a total of nine research projects.

The nine projects cover a variety of research topics that will involve close to 200 researchers across several University departments. The total estimated value of these projects is more than $30 million. Initial funding of $12.5 million for these projects came from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Additional funding has come from institutional and private sector partners. Some of the projects have been in the works, gathering initial funding commitments, for close to eighteen months.

"Our support for these projects will ensure that the University of Guelph is getting a major boost for its research infrastructure," said David Bogart, Executive Director of the Ontario Innovation Trust, in announcing the funding today in a special ceremony at the University.

"The University will be able to develop substantially enhanced research capabilities in areas such as food systems biotechnology, animal health and biotechnology, molecular biology, carbohydrate chemistry, and food safety," he said.

Reflecting on the University's success in the OIT program, U of G President Mordechai Rozanski said, "We are grateful for the Ontario Innovation Trust funding we are celebrating today and welcome OIT executive director David Bogart to our campus. University of Guelph researchers across a range of disciplines will benefit from more than $60 million in provincial and federal funding, from the OIT, Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and our partners in industry.

"Taken together with the $73.6 million in SuperBuild Growth funding for new facilities for the University of Guelph, these investments reflect the world-class nature of our research and researchers and will permit us to contribute to the advancement of knowledge to the benefit of our society."

Each of the awards from the Ontario Innovation Trust will have the potential to provide benefits for the broader public in Ontario, as well as the University and its various partners:

-- a $2.99 million award will support the creation of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS), which will enhance the ability of industry to produce safe and affordable, high quality foods;

-- a $2.8 million award will support research at the Centre for Food and Soft Materials Science, which will contribute to improved quality, added value and reduced costs for the food processing industry;

-- a $3.15 million award to help build a new facility to research biological systems for terrestrial and space applications, in conjunction with the European Space Agency and NASA;

-- a $1 million award to the Centre for Animal Technology and Health's Genome Manipulation Laboratory, for new equipment that will help lead to improving the feed efficiency of animals and increasing the disease in livestock;

-- a $1.6 million award to support research and training at the Agricultural Plant Biotechnology Centre, which will support job creation in the private sector by developing unique plant products for food and beverage manufacturers;

-- a $287,697 award will allow the acquisition of a mass spectrometer to identify proteins, which will boost the analytical capability of university and provide training for the local biotech industry;

-- a $154,684 award for the purchase of equipment to be used in research that has the potential to convert biomass to useful feedstocks for large scale industrial application in Ontario;

-- a $390,927 award to support research in plant and animal pathogens and food science, which will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of food-related molecules, and enhance the ability to check food safety; and

-- a $156,700 award to purchase new mobile analytical equipment for monitoring trends and events in crop areas, which could help create spin-off companies and increase agricultural production through environmental management.

"We have made a strong commitment to investing in science, technology and innovation," said Brenda Elliott, the M.P.P. for Guelph Wellington, in bringing congratulations to the University on behalf of the provincial government. "It is gratifying to know that this investment in laboratory infrastructure and equipment will enable innovative thinking and new discoveries here at Guelph.

"This investment in another great example of our confidence in, and commitment to the great future of our province and our people," she said.

The CFI is an independent, not-for profit organization established by the federal government in 1997 to strengthen the capacity for innovation in Canadian universities and research institutions. The Foundation contributes 40 per cent towards eligible project costs, with universities identifying the remaining 60 per cent matching funds.

The Ontario Innovation Trust has a mandate to assist the province's colleges, universities, hospitals and other non-profit organizations carry out scientific research and technology development by enhancing the infrastructure needed for research. The OIT was established by the Province of Ontario in March 1999.

Today's announcement brings the total amount invested in research infrastructure by the Ontario Innovative Trust to more than $160 million.

For more information: David Bogart, Executive Director, Ontario Innovation Trust (416) 592-3600, email:, or contact Alex Wooley, Communications and Public Affairs, University of Guelph, 519-824-4120, Ext. 6982.

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