Government & Policy
Province calls for innovative solutions to combat COVID-19
April 22, 2020
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $20 million to advance medical research and develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
The government is calling on all of the province’s world-class research institutions, postsecondary institutions, and non-profit scientific partners to develop innovative solutions to track and defeat COVID-19.
“We have some of the best and brightest minds anywhere in the world right here in Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Whether it’s developing a vaccine, using 3-D printers to make personal protective equipment or designing better portable ventilators, our brilliant researchers are leading the charge in the fight against COVID-19 and giving our frontline healthcare workers the tools and resources they need to deliver top-notch care for patients.”
Ontario’s post-secondary education sector and research community has already taken a leadership role to combat COVID-19. Colleges and universities, research hospitals and institutes across the province have stepped up to support their local communities by donating lifesaving ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and conducting invaluable research on detection and treatment.
“Our province, our country and the entire world face an unprecedented situation, and the innovation and expertise of our research community is needed now more than ever,” said Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano (pictured). “We need to continue mobilizing people and ideas and leveraging our top talent in this global effort to find a solution to this crisis and keep people safe.”
Ontario researchers are encouraged to submit proposals through the new Ontario Together website (covid-19.ontario.ca). The portal was established to locate or manufacture emergency products and identify immediate and innovative solutions to help support the province’s response to COVID-19. The website also includes an option for research institutions, in addition to individuals, corporations and other entities, to submit ideas about how to expand healthcare capacity and knowledge, better utilize AI, and build Ontario’s current and future supply chain capacity. Research submissions through the Ontario Together portal will be accepted until April 24, 2020.
“When we launched Ontario Together on March 21st, our province’s medical technology and pharmaceutical companies quickly stepped up to offer made-in-Ontario solutions in the fight against COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This incredible response demonstrates the strength of the Ontario Spirit in our business community and world-class manufacturing and life sciences sectors.”
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities is supporting researchers currently conducting Ontario Research Fund and Early Researcher Award projects by allowing salary payments, changing reporting deadlines and extending projects that would have otherwise been completed before March 31, 2021.
“Ontario Universities appreciate the government’s investment in research that will help detect, manage and combat the spread of COVID-19,” said David Lindsay, president and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities. Working with hospital partners, our university researchers were the first to isolate the virus. This type of ground-breaking research, along with other work currently underway at universities across Ontario, will contribute to the global understanding of COVID-19, ultimately leading to better solutions that will address the current crisis and support Ontario’s economic recovery.”