Ontario Investing in Tools Needed to Drive a Strong Economy

Published on February 06, 2020

$37.4 Million to Support Ground-breaking Research Across the Province


Peterborough — The government of Ontario is committed to building Ontario together by supporting ground-breaking research across the province to advance health care, drive new business, improve competitiveness and create jobs.

Today, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough—Kawartha, visited Trent University to announce that Ontario is investing almost $37.4 million in 183 research projects at 23 institutions.

"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," said Minister Fedeli. "Supporting our researchers today is an investment in a bright future of health care advances, new technology, new companies and jobs."

Provincewide, Ontario's investments are helping researchers build or upgrade state-of-the-art labs and equipment, and supporting key projects focused on industry and human health.

At Trent, Ontario is investing $567,089 in four projects, including supporting 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.

The other projects receiving funding through the Ontario Research Fund - Small Infrastructure program at Trent University are:

  • Maritime Archaeology Research Infrastructure, lead researcher James Conolly
  • Agricultural Soil Health Laboratory, lead researcher Karen Thompson
  • Centre for Biomedical Research and Biosensing, lead researcher Sanela Martic.

Today's announcement builds on the nearly $41 million in 174 projects the government announced in September.

Quick Facts

  • A total of 183 research projects were selected for funding through a rigorous and competitive peer review process.
  • The Ontario Research Fund – Small Infrastructure provides research institutions with funding to help support infrastructure needs, such as acquiring research equipment. The government is supporting 176 projects with an investment of $31,336,101.
  • Ontario Research Fund – College-Industry Innovation program helps cover the costs of building, renovating and equipping research facilities to promote college-industry partnerships. The government is providing $1,000,000 to support one project.
  • Ontario Research Fund – Genomic Applications Partnership Program: The government is investing $1,014,058 to support one project. Genomics, the study of the building blocks of life across all sectors, promises many benefits, including speeding up the discovery of new drugs.
  • Ontario Research Fund – Large Scale Applied Research Project Competition is Ontario’s co-funding program to Genome Canada’s national competition. Funding is available to researchers using genomic approaches to address challenges in Canada’s main economic sectors. Ontario is funding five projects in the 2018 competition, with a total investment of $4,036,205.

Additional Resources


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

Dave Smith

MPP for Peterborough—Kawartha

“Investments in research infrastructure are invaluable to universities and the scientists who all 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. 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.”