Driving The Innovation Economy In Guelph

    McGuinty Government Building Ontario's Innovation-Driven Economy

    GUELPH, ON, July 31 /CNW/ -


    Research aimed at protecting forests from invasive species and finding
the best approach to curing cervical cancer are two of the five projects at
the University of Guelph (http://www.uoguelph.ca/) that will receive $700,000
in funding from the province's Early Researcher Awards
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/era/program.asp) program.
    Funding world-class research is part of Ontario's plan to build an
innovation economy.

    The researchers include:

    -   Dr. Hafiz Maherali
        (http://www.uoguelph.ca/ib/people/faculty/maherali.shtml), who is
        discovering how Ontario's forests can develop resistance to powerful,
        invasive plant - the garlic mustard weed.

    -   Dr. Chris Thomas Bauch
        (http://biophysics.uoguelph.ca/computational/faculty/bauch.htm), who
        is using computer simulations to find the best approach to fighting
        cervical cancer, which could account for an estimated 380 deaths in
        Canada in 2008.

    -   Dr. Paul Edward Garrett
        =176), who is using advanced techniques in nuclear physics
        to gain a better understanding of the universe.

    -   Dr. Jaideep Mathur
        (http://www.uoguelph.ca/mcb/faculty/faculty_mathur.shtml), who is
        studying how plants adapt to climate change, pollution and other
        environmental effects.

    -   Dr. Ryan Norris
        (http://www.uoguelph.ca/ib/people/faculty/norris.shtml), who is
        researching how environmental changes in Ontario and globally are
        affecting Ontario's migratory animal populations.

    In total, 66 projects across the province worth $9.24 million will
receive funding from the Early Researcher Awards program.
    The goal of this program is to improve Ontario's ability to attract and
retain the best and brightest research talent from around the world. Today's
investment will ensure that leading Ontario researchers have the resources
they need to build their research teams of graduate students, post-doctoral
fellows, research assistants and associates from across Canada and abroad.


    "From tackling climate change to better understanding global
biodiversity, the research taking place by bright people living and working
right here in our community is truly world-class. Guelph is home to
researchers whose groundbreaking ideas are improving our health care and our
environment and keeping our community at the forefront of the global
innovation economy. Today's investment will ensure that we can continue to
attract, retain - and train - many of the top research minds in the world,"
said Guelph MPP Liz Sandals (http://www.lizsandals.onmpp.ca/).
    "Today's investment is an important part of Ontario's plan to build an
innovation-driven economy. We are investing in the people who are pioneering
the scientific breakthroughs that will improve healthcare, protect the
environment, and ignite growth in the industries that will shape Ontario's
future," said Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson


    -   The Early Research Awards program is an important part of Ontario's
        Innovation Agenda
        (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp), a plan
        to make innovation the driving force of the provincial economy.

    -   Innovation is part of the McGuinty government's five-point plan for
        the economy. The other parts of the plan are:
           -  Skills and training
           -  Building infrastructure
           -  Strategic business tax cuts to create investment
           -  Partnerships with business

    -   The Guelph research projects will create jobs for 20 graduate
        students and two post-doctoral researchers.

    -   Today, as a result of Ontario's investments in skills and education,
        Ontario has one of the highest postsecondary enrolment rates in the
        G8 group of industrialized nations. More than 90,000 more young
        people are going on to college or university than five years ago.


    Learn More about the Early Researcher Awards

    Learn More about Ontario's Innovation Agenda

    Learn how Ontario's Budget 2008 (http://ontariobudget.ca/english/) is
supporting innovation

                                                      Disponible en français



    Funding world-class research is part of Ontario's plan to build an
innovation economy.
    Ontario's universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutes play
a vital role in the government's five-point plan to ensure Ontario remains at
the forefront of the global knowledge-based economy by supporting cutting-edge
research and developing world-class researchers.
    The Early Researcher Awards program
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/era/program.asp) (ERA) helps
promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams
of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and
associates. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario's ability to attract
and retain the best and brightest research talent from around the world.
    Across the province, this investment will mean cutting-edge research
opportunities for as many as 225 graduate students and post-doctorate
researchers, and engage as many as 6700 high school students each year, giving
them an inside look at real research and inspiring them to consider a career
in science and technology.
    The ERA program is a key part of Ontario's Innovation Agenda. Supported
by close to $3 billion in spending over eight years, the Ontario Innovation
Agenda (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/news/OIA042908.asp) is building
Ontario's innovation economy on the strength of our province's creative
environment, diverse culture, highly skilled workforce, world-class
educational system and internationally recognized research community.


    Dr. Hafiz Maherali
    Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Biological Invasions

    Biological invasions are a major threat to native ecosystems and the
resources they provide to humans, such as food and fibre production and the
maintenance of soil fertility. Dr. Maherali and his research team's work will
evaluate how invasion by a European weed, garlic mustard, impacts Ontario's
forest ecosystems. His team will also evaluate whether the dominant species,
sugar maple, has the capacity to evolve resistance to the invader. Their work
will help Ontario make decisions about the management and eradication of
garlic mustard by assessing ecosystem response and prospects for recovery
following invasion.

    Dr. Chris Thomas Bauch
    Computer Models in the Fight Against Cervical Cancer

    Simulation modelling is increasingly recognized as a way of helping to
develop good public health policy. Dr. Bauch and his research team will use
computer simulations to determine the optimal combination of cervical cancer
screening and vaccination for women in Ontario. They will also use
mathematical theory to understand how a vaccine's risk-benefit profile evolves
after a vaccine has been licensed. This research may help reduce cervical
cancer incidence in a cost-effective way, as well as provide better tools for
determining which vaccines should be licensed for use, and improve the health
of Ontarians.

    Dr. Paul Edward Garrett
    Nuclear Physics and Understanding our Universe

    One of the greatest achievements of twentieth century science was the
development of the Standard Model, the theory that governs the world of the
smallest particles in nature; however it is not believed to be the "ultimate"
theory. Dr. Garrett's research team will contribute to the development of this
theory by using advanced techniques in nuclear physics to better understand
why our universe is the way it is. This research will provide an ideal
training ground for the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers.

    Dr. Jaideep Mathur
    Responding to the Environment and Pollution

    Understanding subcellular dynamics in plants can help us understand the
mechanisms used by these organisms to ensure their survival when faced with
environmental stress. Dr. Mathur's research will examine plants carrying
specific proteins to understand how plants respond to environmental cues.
Besides adding to basic knowledge, the resulting data will serve as an
effective public education tool concerning the rapid effects of the
environmental change on living cells.

    Dr. Ryan Norris
    Conserving Migratory Animals

    Migratory animals that spend part of their life cycle outside of Ontario
represent a large part of the province's biodiversity, making them crucial to
the health and maintenance of the ecosystem. A major problem in determining
why these species are declining has been the inability to track individual
animals over large distances. Dr. Norris's research team will develop chemical
markers and radio telemetry techniques that can be used to track migratory
animals throughout their annual cycle. The team will examine how long-term
changes in climate and other environmental stressors, such as habitat loss and
degradation, influence the population abundance of both songbirds and insects.
Their research work will put Canada in a unique position to develop effective
international conservation strategies for a wide variety of migratory animals.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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