World-class research in Sudbury boosts economy



    McGuinty Government Creating Tomorrow's Economy Today

    SUDBURY, ON, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Revolutionary research being conducted in
Sudbury to expand our understanding of the universe is one of 19 cutting
edge-research projects supported by the McGuinty government, Minister of
Research and Innovation John Wilkinson announced today, joined by MPP for
Sudbury Rick Bartolucci.
    Ontario is investing $17.9 million to ensure that research teams working
in a physics facility housed two kilometers underground at Inco's Creighton
Mine in Sudbury, will have the tools and resources they need to continue their
globally significant work that aims to expand our understanding of the
Universe -- how it came to be and how it's evolving.
    Today's investment is helping to grow the region's knowledge economy -
and ensures Ontario scientists are at the forefront of a rapidly growing and
important field.
    This project is one of 19, totalling nearly $115 million, being supported
by the government across Ontario. One hundred and seven partners, including
many in industry, will match this funding. The research projects supported at
universities, institutes and hospitals across the province address a range of
challenges, including:

    
        -  Reducing the amount of electricity used by computers
        -  Developing the vehicles of the future
        -  Providing better tools to diagnose and treat heart disease.
    

    "By investing in research and innovation and the skills and knowledge of
our people today, we will ensure Ontario remains the best place in the world
to live, work and raise a family," Wilkinson said. "Ontarians will benefit
from better health-care services, new technologies, a cleaner environment and
more opportunities for success."
    "SNOLAB is a world renowned facility that attracts researchers from
around the globe to Sudbury," said MPP for Sudbury Rick Bartolucci. "This
project will further enhance SNOLAB's international reputation and ensure that
the Sudbury region can attract and retain the top research talent, and skilled
workforce that northern Ontario needs to prosper in the 21st century."
    "It's exciting to realize that just a few hundred metres away from our
mining activity, cutting-edge scientific research will continue to enhance our
knowledge of the universe and lead to discoveries that could change the way we
see and interact with the planet," said Vale Inco's Vice President, Mining
Operations, Brian Maynard.
    "SNOLAB is the largest, deepest, and cleanest facility in the world
available for this type of research," said SNOLAB Director and Queen's
University Professor Dr. Tony Noble. "With this tremendous support from the
Ontario government, we have the resources we need to continue our
ground-breaking work here at SNOLAB's state-of-the-art facility, and keep
Sudbury at the forefront of astrophysics research."
    "Today's investment is a part of our government's plan to invest in
research and innovation that will build on regional strengths, boost Ontario's
economy and spark the next generation of highly-skilled, good-paying jobs,"
Wilkinson said.
    The Ontario Research Fund is just one of the ways the McGuinty government
is creating a stronger economy and supporting Ontario families. Other
initiatives include:

    
        -  Launching the $160 million Ideas-to-Market strategy that supports
           emerging companies, which includes the Ontario Venture Capital
           Fund
        -  Providing a 21 per cent Capital Tax rate cut for all businesses
           retroactive to January 1, 2007, on the way to full elimination in
           2010
        -  Announcing in the 2007 Fall Economic Statement an additional
           $50 million in strategic investment to further strengthen
           Ontario's environment for scientific research that will lead to
           new discoveries, higher quality of life and new jobs.

    For more information about the Ontario Research Fund, please visit
    www.ontario.ca/innovation.

    Disponible en français

                          www.ontario.ca/innovation



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

       Sudbury receives $17.9 million for globally significant research
    

    Today's announcement represents part of the second round of funding under
the Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence program. In this round, the
government is providing $17,974,390 to a world-class research and innovation
project that will be conducted at the SNOLAB physics research facility in
Sudbury. Funding will be matched by industry and other partners participating
in the project.

    Astroparticle Physics Projects at SNOLAB
    Discovering the nature of the universe
    Lead researcher: Dr. Anthony J. Noble
    Total project cost: $53,923,170
    Provincial funding: $17,974,390

    Key private sector partners:
    Vale-INCO

    Researchers from Queen's University, in collaboration with Carleton
University and Laurentian University, will set out to confirm longstanding
questions of the Universe - like how it came to be and how it is evolving.
    The goal of the project is to create the ideal conditions to observe
invisible dark matter particles (left over relics from the Big-Bang) known to
make up about 25 per cent of the mass of the universe, which scientists around
the world know very little about. The research will take place at SNOLAB, a
state-of-the-art facility for astroparticle physics that is the lowest
radioactivity research location ever created. In this unique ultra-clean
environment two kilometres underground in Vale-Inco's Creighton mine in
Sudbury, it's possible to make measurements that are impossible anywhere else
in the world - and to observe the rare, but fundamental, scientific phenomena
that take place only a few times a year.
    This investment builds on the Ontario government's previous commitment of
$8.73 million - $5.6 million through the Ontario Research Fund and
$3.13 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund - to expand the
SNOLAB research facility, announced in August 2007.
    For more information about the original Neutrino Observatory experiment,
please visit http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/Cryo082107.asp.

    Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence Program
    ---------------------------------------------------

    This second round of funding under the Research Excellence program will
invest $114,709,614 to support 19 world-class projects at nine Ontario
universities, institutes and hospitals. Funding will be matched by 107 major
industry and other partners participating in the projects.

    For more information about the Ontario Research Fund, please visit
    www.ontario.ca/innovation.

    Disponible en français

    
                          www.ontario.ca/innovation



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        January 18, 2008

                            ONTARIO RESEARCH FUND

    The Ontario government is investing $527 million over five years through
the Ontario Research Fund to support leading-edge research and development in
Ontario's universities, institutes and hospitals, and to leverage support from
the federal government and private industry.
    The fund is a key part of the province's plan to support scientific
excellence that can be developed into innovative goods and services that will
boost Ontario's economy.

    The fund is made up of two streams:
    -   The Research Excellence program funds project operating costs,
        such as researchers' salaries
    -   The Research Infrastructure program supports the acquisition of new
        research infrastructure.

    The Ontario Research Fund is designed to provide one window for research
funding. Proposals for funding are evaluated through a competitive,
peer-review process. For more information, please visit
www.ontario.ca/innovation.

    Research Excellence Program - Round Two

    Today's announcement represents the second round of funding under the
Research Excellence program. In this round, the government is providing
$114,709,614 to support 19 projects. Funding will be matched by 107 major
industry and other partners participating in the projects.

    The research will:
    -   Support a cleaner, greener environment
    -   Support better health for Ontarians
    -   Support world-class science in a number of fields such as computing
        and astrophysics.

    Including this round of funding, the Ontario Research Fund will have
invested a total of $230 million for 45 projects and leveraged $460 million
from 280 industry and other partners.

    Disponible en français

                          www.ontario.ca/innovation
    





For further information:

For further information: Perry Blocher, Ministry of Research and
Innovation, (416) 326-7717; Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416) 314-7067

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

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