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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Investing More than $270 Million To Support New Innovations and Discoveries

TORONTO – The Ontario government is investing over $278 million in research projects at universities, colleges, research institutes and research hospitals across the province. The funding is being delivered through the Ontario Research Fund and the Early Researcher Awards and supports researchers in making discoveries that help advance the development of innovative new products and technologies.


“By investing in cutting-edge research, we are safeguarding Ontario’s position at the forefront of innovation that continues to be competitive on a global scale and has the ability to attract the best and brightest talent to our province,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This will help ensure the social and economic opportunities that result from discoveries made in Ontario benefit Ontarians and the Ontario economy.”


This funding will support 406 research projects across the province, helping institutions attract and retain top research talent, and cover the costs of research operations and infrastructure, including building, renovating and equipping research facilities with laboratories and the latest technology.


These Ontario Research Fund projects support multiple provincial priorities, including:



  • $9.9 million for the University of Toronto to revitalize the Toronto High Containment Facility — the only level 3 lab that supports the research and clinical needs of partner research hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area. This work will provide the expertise, research and infrastructure necessary to mobilize a rapid response to future emerging infectious diseases.


  • $2 million for Lakehead University to develop novel models for industry partners to help them find new mineral deposits for potential mine development in northern Ontario.

  • $2 million for the University of Waterloo to explore and evaluate strategies for minimizing the negative environmental impacts of arsenic-bearing mine wastes.


  • $2 million for the University of Guelph to create an advanced battery pack for electric vehicles that is sustainably made, flameproof, and lighter and safer than other batteries that are currently available on the market.


  • $1.1 million for Queen’s University to develop microbial inoculants, which are a natural alternative to fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that deliver nutrients to plants. These inoculants will help reduce costs for Ontario’s farmers and increase resiliency in Ontario’s agri-food sector by reducing reliance on imports.


The research sector is a key source of innovation and commercialization in the province, making it one of the leading contributors to Ontario’s global competitiveness and productivity. These investments support the province’s long-term economic growth, while fostering a skilled labour force and promoting new business opportunities in Ontario.


Quick Facts


  • The Early Researcher Awards (ERA) drive innovation across the province, helping researchers to build research teams and improving Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in a variety of disciplines. For example, Ontario is investing $140,000 through ERA for York University to develop the next generation of wireless optogenetic implants to help people with neurological disorders.

  • Research projects supported through the Ontario Research Fund and Early Researcher Awards are selected through a rigorous and competitive peer review process.

  • Since 2018, Ontario has invested $740 million in 1,302 research projects, leveraging more than $1.18 billion in funding from federal and other third-party contributions.

  • Since 2018, the Ontario government’s research investments have supported the creation of more than 120,000 training opportunities for researchers and students across the province.

  • Since 2018, research investments have contributed to 421 patents being granted, 76 spin-off companies being created and 594 new jobs at those spin-offs.

  • Ontario will also invest $47.4 million from 2024 to 2025 for the infrastructure refresh of Ontario’s Advanced Research Computing (ARC) systems and $18 million for their ongoing operations and maintenance. These ARC systems are critical resources for researchers in Ontario.

  • The Ontario government is supporting the province’s innovators in developing, managing and commercializing their intellectual property through Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), a government agency that was created in 2022.

Additional Resources


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