Volume 92, Issue 57

Friday, January 8, 1999

the roof is on fire


Advice going east

Fire sparks safety reminders

Ontario boosts research projects through matching grant

Bizarre tragedy hits Bishop's

Crime stepped back during patrol's 10 years


Caught on campus

Ontario boosts research projects through matching grant

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Newly appointed researchers at Western will be receiving a late Christmas present from the Ontario government in a grant totalling $2.4 million.

The grant, supporting 10 separate research projects at Western, is coming from the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund. This grant money matches the funds these researchers were awarded last year under the Canada Foundation for Innovation new opportunities competition.

ORDCF, which was created in the 1997 Ontario budget, has two essential programs which accept proposals submitted directly to the ORDCF or matches the money given to projects by CFI, said Tony Vander Voelt, manager of the ORDCF secretariat.

The money being used to match the CFI grants comes from $135 million which was taken in 1998 out of the $500 million initially set aside for the ORDCF, Vander Voelt explained.

Normally CFI projects would not automatically receive funding from the ORDCF, but an exception was made in this round, matching each CFI grant dollar for dollar, Vander Voelt said. "We were very confident in the CFI selection," he said.

"We felt it would be a really good thing as a group because it supports new faculty," Vander Voelt explained the ORDCF's reasoning. In future projects, receiving CFI funding will not mean automatically receiving a grant from ORDCF, he said, adding those that do will receive up to 40 per cent of the cost of the project.

The grants from CFI and ORDCF combined will cover 80 per cent of the cost of Western's research programs, said Frederick Keenan, coordinator for infrastructure programs for CFI and director of interdisciplinary research at Western. "The remaining 20 per cent comes from the institution in various ways."

Although the ORDCF said they will not automatically match CFI grants, Keenan said Western is very hopeful they will, but admitted there is no assurance of that yet.

Suzanne Bernier, a professor of anatomy and cell biology at Western who was awarded a grant in the first competition of CFI, said the announcement of the grant alleviates some of the pressure put on her research team and the university.

Bernier said she was thrilled all the funds needed for her research are now secure. "It allows us to buy a whole list of equipment and it allows us to secure the CFI funding."

There was always the possibility the ORDCF would not match the funds, she said. She added this was a concern since the CFI grant was contingent on securing the remaining 60 per cent of the funds for the project.

"We were just waiting for the money," she said. Bernier added some of the work of Western's graduate students was also dependent on the ORDCF grant to purchase needed equipment.

Western is currently working on sending one proposal to the ORDCF which is separate from the proposals which have been sent to the CFI, Keenan explained. He added the deadline for this proposal is Jan. 30.

Proposals sent to the ORDCF can receive up to one third of the cost of the proposal, Vander Voelt said. Proposals are assessed based on their excellence, vision and their economic and long-term impact.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999