Ontario to invest $37.4M in 183 research projects at 23 institutions, including Trent

Click to play video: 'Four research projects at Trent getting provincial funding'
Four research projects at Trent getting provincial funding
Ontario is investing in 183 research projects and 23 institutions. And four of those projects are being carried out at Trent University. – Feb 6, 2020

The Ontario government says its investment of $37.4 million into more than 180 research projects will improve the lives of families across the province.

At Trent University in Peterborough on Thursday, Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, announced the funds for 183 research projects at 23 institutions. The money comes from the Ontario Research Fund.

“Ontario is open for business and open for jobs, and research leads to new knowledge that can help our businesses and improve quality of life for our families,” Fedeli said. “Supporting our researchers today is an investment in a bright future of health care advances, new technology, new companies and jobs.”

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Trent University will receive $567,089 for four projects, including money to support the purchase of a state-of-the-art laser system for the Slepkov Biophotonics Lab. Dr. Aaron Slepkov’s lab uses high-power laser microscopy to advance knowledge across a broad range of sectors, from advanced manufacturing to studying diseases like osteoporosis to the development of nutrient-rich, plant-based foods.

“Trent University is home to world-class researchers. Having the latest technology will help researchers here in Peterborough contribute to a strong Ontario economy,” said Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith.

Other Trent projects receiving funding from the provincial government include lead researcher James Conolly’s Maritime Archaeology Research Infrastructure, the Agricultural Soil Health Laboratory, led by researcher Karen Thompson, and the Centre for Biomedical Research and Biosensing, whose lead researcher is Sanela Martic.

Neil Emery, vice-president of research and innovation at Trent, says the investments are invaluable to universities and scientists who rely on the performance of equipment to deliver “quality scientific results.”

“Trent University is so grateful for the support from the province, which will be helping four researchers in physics, forensics, agriculture and archeology modernize their laboratories to a world-class level, enabling innovations in materials science, biochemistry, soil health enhancement and aquatic environmental assessments,” he said.

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“The grants to Trent University also help enhance the learning experience for our student researchers as they gain hands-on experience with new technology that is also used outside of academia.”

The 183 projects were selected through a competitive peer-review process, according to Fedeli, who said Thursday’s news builds on the nearly $41 million invested in 174 projects announced by the government in September.

A spokesperson for Fedeli’s office tells Global News the other research projects will be announced in the near future.

Click to play video: 'Queen’s professors Dr. Mark Chen and Dr. Mark Richardson  discuss dark matter'
Queen’s professors Dr. Mark Chen and Dr. Mark Richardson discuss dark matter

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