FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Trent Researchers Attract more than $3.6 Million in Funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation
CFI grant key to starting construction of DNA and Forensic Science Centre
Monday, March 8, 2004
Bonnie Patterson, President of Trent University today announced that Trent University has received approval from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for a grant through its Innovation Fund totaling more than $3.6 million.
The principal investigator for the project, Dr. Bradley White and a team of predominantly Trent researchers and colleagues from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) was approved for a CFI contribution of $3,620,809 toward the creation of a DNA and Forensic Science Research Centre. It is anticipated that additional matching funding will be forthcoming to kick-start construction of a DNA partnership building on the campus of Trent University. This facility will become the hub of the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster, an initiative to develop a regional centre of excellence in DNA and forensic science. Demonstrating the far-reaching benefits of the cluster model, the proposal included ten other Trent researchers along with Prof. White, as well as researchers from a variety of other organizations, including the OMNR, Fleming College, Queen's University, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Toronto Metro Zoo.
Dr Bradley White, Canada Research Chair in Conservation Genetics and Biodiversity and Principal Investigator, said that the success of the CFI proposal was a direct result of the close teamwork that has developed between Trent University, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Fleming College. "The funding will allow the construction of state of the art facilities for DNA research that will support the research programs of a number of Biology faculty and OMNR scientists and further the goals of the Peterborough DNA Cluster Project," he said.
With CFI funding approved, the University will pursue a matching grant from the provincial funding agency, Ontario Innovation Trust, and fill any remaining financial gap through industry partnerships and fundraising efforts. Proposed designs and sites for the building are in their preliminary stages of development and will be discussed by Trent University's Board of Governors and the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster. The successful CFI funding announcement precedes by just one week the opening of the DNA Cluster's transitional offices in temporary quarters on the east bank of Trent's Symons Campus.
Prof. Chris Metcalfe, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Trent applauded the research team that developed and promoted the CFI project. "Trent University continues to excel in attracting funding for prominent research initiatives," he said. "Our success is directly related to the talented faculty who chose to pursue their research interests at Trent University. The DNA and Forensic Science Centre will have positive benefits for Peterborough and the entire region."
President Bonnie Patterson echoed Prof. Metcalfe's remarks. "It's always a proud day for Trent when the CFI provides the funding to fuel the innovation taking place at our institution," said President Patterson. "Today's announcement gives the entire community cause to celebrate because of the shared goals for the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster and this research center. This is the first of many exciting steps to come."
MP Peter Adams was delighted at the news of the CFI support for the DNA and Forensic Science Research Centre. "I am pleased that Trent has been able to use the federal Canada Chairs program to provide the DNA Cluster with a focus in our community," he said. "This latest announcement is an indication of just how important work of this type is going to be in our community."
The Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997, with a goal to strengthen the capability of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other not-for-profit institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development.
For more information, please contact: Prof. Bradley White at 748-1011 ext. 5346.