Making Health Research Work For Patients

    McGuinty Government Supporting Research To Create Jobs, Better Health

    TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ -


    Research aimed at improving therapies for autistic children, winning the
battle against breast cancer and improving treatments for heart and lung
disease are among the innovative health care research projects receiving 
$21 million in funding from the province.
    The funding from the Ontario Research Fund
( will support
14 institutions and 116 projects and involve nearly 1,000 health scientists
and researchers across the province.
    Provincial support for health research is an important part of Ontario's
Innovation Agenda ( -
turning great ideas into good-paying jobs and better lives for Ontario
families. Supporting innovation is part of the McGuinty government's
five-point plan for growing Ontario's economy


    "Ontario is a global leader in the health sciences and we punch well
above our weight when it comes to research and commercialization. Today's
investment is an important part of our government's $3-billion commitment to
enable our top researchers to turn their best ideas into new knowledge, new
technologies, improved therapies and better disease prevention," said Minister
of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson

    "By supporting our health researchers we are helping them turn their best
research and ideas into quality health care. These types of innovations will
help reduce wait times and improve access to care for all Ontarians," said
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan

    "University research and discoveries are important engines of economic
growth in today's global, knowledge-based economy. This tremendous investment
in world-class research at universities across our province is fundamental to
keeping Ontario at the forefront of global innovations in health science and
health care, while at the same time producing highly qualified personnel and
enabling Ontarians to realize their dreams," said Paul C. Genest, President of
the Council for Ontario Universities.


    -   Ontario is the largest hub of life sciences activity in Canada and
        the fourth largest biomedical research centre in North America.

    -   Ontario has 25 research and academic hospitals that employ
        10,000 scientists and clinical investigators and conduct $850 million
        in research annually.

    -   This fall the province is announcing $37 million worth of investments
        through the Ontario Research Fund, including today's announcement.
        This funding will support the efforts of more than 1,800 researchers
        working on more than 200 projects at 17 institutions across Ontario.


    Learn more about the Ontario Research Fund

    Learn more about Ontario's Innovation Agenda

                                                      Disponible en français



                     Inventing The Future Of Health Care

    Ontario is committed to supporting research and innovation as a means of
turning global challenges into our next generation of jobs - and most
importantly, to create a higher quality of life for Ontario families.
    Ontario's $3-billion Innovation Agenda is about making investments in our
greatest asset - our people and our best ideas - to make this province
healthier, greener and to strengthen our economy. We are focused on supporting
innovation that will tackle climate change, lead to better health care, and
ignite growth in the industries that will shape our future.


    Ontario has a legacy of research excellence and innovation, of turning
our best science and ideas into world-leading vaccines, better ways to treat
and prevent disease, and health technologies.
    Ontario discovered stem cells and insulin. We invented the pacemaker. And
right now Ontario companies are building cleaner ways to generate the energy
we need, by engineering new technologies that do a better job of tapping into
the power of the sun, wind, and water. From IMAX to the Blackberry to the
science and technology that helped put a man on the moon and robots on Mars,
Ontario ideas, discoveries and inventions reach around the globe.
    And with support from the Ontario government, innovative people and
companies are turning solutions to global challenges like cancer and climate
change into cleaner air, better health care, and better, more sustainable jobs
for the 21st century.


    Through the Ontario Research Fund, we are strengthening Ontario's legacy
of innovation and ingenuity by supporting our best and brightest researchers,
the world-class research institutions that support their work, and the
entrepreneurs that are helping to bring their best ideas to the global market.


    The Ontario Research Fund is an important part of Ontario's Innovation
Agenda. Supported by $3 billion over eight years, Ontario's Innovation Agenda
is focused on supporting world-class research and innovative companies in
areas where the province already is, or can be, a global leader.

    Ontario's priorities are:

    -   Tackling climate change through bio-based, environmental, alternative
        energy and clean technologies

    -   Advancing the digital universe through new information and
        communications technologies

    -   Conquering disease through life sciences, biotechnology, advanced
        health technologies and pharmaceutical research.


    Ontario has the third largest concentration of life sciences companies in
North America - generating annual revenue of more than $14 billion, and
employing 43,000 people in more than 850 companies.
    With 25 research and academic hospitals employing 10,000 scientists,
clinical investigators and other researchers conducting $850 million in
research annually, Ontario is the largest hub of biomedical activity in Canada
and the fourth largest biomedical research centre in North America.
    In Toronto - Ontario's largest research centre - much of the research is
concentrated in clusters of activity, creating opportunities for
collaboration, investment, information sharing and academic-business
development opportunities. Within two kilometres of the downtown University of
Toronto campus, there are nine research hospitals, roughly 5,000 scientists,
and research budgets totalling about $1 billion a year. And since 2005,
93,000 square metres of research space have been added in this zone, with
twice as much more planned.

    Cancer and Stem Cell Research

    Stem cells ( were discovered in
the early 1960s by Dr. Ernest McCulloch
( and Dr. James Till
(, two scientists working at the
Ontario Cancer Institute (
Ontario continues to be a leader in stem cell research today. Ontario is also
home to the Stem Cell Network, made up of 80 experts drawn from universities
and hospitals across Canada.
    And Ontario is at the forefront of discovering a global solution to
    Ontario has invested $347 million over five years in the Ontario
Institute for Cancer Research - the first collaborative institute in Canada to
focus on the entire spectrum of cancer challenges - from better prevention to
discovering better treatments.
    The province is also investing $40 million over 10 years in the
International Cancer Genome Consortium, which will work with the Ontario
Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to coordinate the work of scientists
around the world. The goal of this consortium is a co-ordinated global effort
to unlock the genome of the 50 most common cancer tumours that plague
humanity. The project will generate 25,000 times more data than the human
genome project.
    Not only has Ontario been chosen to head the world headquarters of this
global effort, one of the largest scientific projects in history. Ontario has
also been tasked to serve as the global data centre. In essence, we must
create the largest health informatics database in history.


    Toronto is now the fourth-largest biomedical research complex in North
America, with nine research institutes, 5,000 faculty appointments in medical
research, 2,000 graduate students, and 1,100 post-doctoral and clinical
    Ontario is home to 140+ companies with revenues of $2.8 billion and
5,200 employees - more than any US state except California and Massachusetts,
including global giants such as Amgen, Genzyme and Sanofi Pasteur.

    Medical and Assistive Technologies

    Global giants like GE Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson have chosen
Ontario as a preferred location to conduct research and develop medical and
assistive technologies. Across the province, close to 675 cutting-edge
companies conduct business that generates revenues of $4 billion and over
22,000 employees.


    Ontario is home to major pharmaceutical companies with sales of 
$7.5 billion and some 18,000+ employees - including Apotex, AstraZeneca,
Baxter Healthcare, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, MDS Nordion,
Novartis and Pfizer.


    Ontario is also home to innovative people and companies that are global
leaders, at the forefront of global advances in health care and health
technologies, including:

    -   GestureTek Health (
    -   Dalsa Corporation (
    -   RapidMind (
    -   Atreo Medical (

                                                      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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