Conestoga news

January 21, 2014 2:04 PM

Province announces new research funding

The Honourable John Milloy, Kitchener Centre MPP and Minister of Government Services visited Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus on January 20 to announce that the Ontario government will be investing $190 million in the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) over the next six years.

The funding will be divided between the Ontario Research Fund’s (ORF) Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. Since 2003, the Ministry of Research and Innovation has supported 176 research projects with $123 million in funding through the Ontario Research Fund programs in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.

“Research is the foundation of a knowledge economy — new findings lead to new technologies, companies and jobs,” said Milloy. “Across the province, researchers and companies are improving competitiveness, launching new ground-breaking products and services and changing lives.”

Barbara Fennessy, Conestoga’s executive dean for entrepreneurship and applied research, joined Minister Milloy for the announcement along with Max Blouw, Laurier president and vice-chancellor, Jennifer Baltzer, Laurier associate professor and Canada research chair in forests and global change, and Bruce Muirhead, University of Waterloo associate vice president of external research.

In her remarks, Fennessy pointed out that applied research at colleges - particularly polytechnics such as Conestoga, has expanded significantly over the last decade, creating substantial benefits for businesses, for communities and for Ontario.

“Applied research initiatives designed to support business, industry and institutions in their efforts to innovate and to improve their products and processes result in increased productivity and prosperity for our community and for Ontario,” Fennessy said. “This new investment in research will help ensure that our businesses can remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Over the past year alone, 70 local enterprises have turned to Conestoga for applied research solutions to meet current and emerging needs. The college’s primary areas of research include smart manufacturing - the economic backbone of our regional economy - as well as food technologies and health care innovations to better serve older adults.

For more information about applied research at Conestoga, visit

For more information about research funding in Ontario, visit