Volume 93, Issue 53

Thursday, December 2, 1999


CFS joins WTO protests in Seattle

Radioactive violations close labs

Research may take London Home

McGill library forced to cut materials


Bass Ackwards

Research may take London Home

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

London could soon be a hotbed for research if figures announced to City of London councillors become a reality.

Henry Friesen, president of the Medical Research Council of Canada, visited London's city council Monday for a breakfast meeting to discuss the future of Canadian research.

Friesen was on hand to explain the changes the MRC will experience when it evolves into the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on April 1 of next year, said Marcel Chartrand, director of communications with the MRC.

"The MRC will create a number of new institutes, about 10 or 15," he said, adding the new institutes will be virtual buildings, not made out of bricks and mortar. "The researchers under that institute will continue to work across Canada in their own universities and research facilities," Chartrand said.

He confirmed Friesen predicted a doubling of MRC funding, from the current $12 million to $25 million over the next few years. "There is a likelihood the budget will double [in London] because of the excellent research being done in various fields."

Lawson Research Institute vice-president of business and development, Michael Crowley, said he was optimistic after hearing Friesen's presentation. "By nature of the MRC, these are peer reviewed grants," Crowley said of the comprehensive review process which allocates funding to research institutes across the country.

Crowley added increased funding to London-based research will produce greater discoveries. "It will translate into more scientists, more technicians, more post-docs. More people to do basic research."

London Ward 3 councillor Fred Tranquilli said if Friesen's predictions are true, the research spectrum in London would grow.

"Obviously we have a research infrastructure already here," he said. Tranquilli explained because the new institutes will be looking for research facilities already in place, London will definitely be at the forefront.

Doug Gill, Western's director of Industry Liaison, who was present at the meeting, said he was pleased by the MRC's presentation, as it could potentially be positive for the university.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999