A proposal to commission a strategy for growing the health-research industry in Northern Ontario is rapidly picking up steam, says Jim Gordon, mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. will consider a Stage 2 application for this project, says Gordon, who is spearheading the proposal on behalf of the Northern Ontario Mayors' Coalition, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and Northern Ontario's major health-research stakeholders.
"It is very encouraging to learn that this project has cleared the first hurdle, and the partners in this proposal look forward very much to submitting a Stage 2 application for consideration," Gordon says.
Gordon says the strategy will build upon the excellent work of northern health researchers, identifying how best to accelerate activity in the sector and attract new investments to the North. Lakehead University and Laurentian University, as hosts of the Northern Medical School, are expected to play a lead role.
"Our northern universities are already attracting millions of dollars into Northern Ontario from major granting agencies for their ambitious research programs," says Gordon. "This project will help to accelerate their work and the activities of all stakeholders, while attracting new partners, new scientists and new businesses to the North."
Project partners hope that the project will create a template for future initiatives in other sectors of the economy, Gordon says.
The city councils of Thunder Bay and Greater Sudbury have unanimously endorsed the project proposal, and each has committed $35,000 in funding.
The project partners are expected to contribute a total of $100,000, and are seeking a $500,000 investment from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, for a total project cost of $600,000. The funding will be used to commission a study, strategy and business plan to grow the health-research industry in Northern Ontario.