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McGuinty Government Celebrates Research Excellence

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McGuinty Government Celebrates Research Excellence

Ontario’s Top Young Researchers To Receive Prestigious Polanyi Prize

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government is promoting research excellence by recognizing five of the province's top young researchers with the John Charles Polanyi Prize, announced Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"By recognizing our province's best young researchers and celebrating their innovative work, we're helping to inspire the next generation of research leaders in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "This is an important part of our plan to invest in higher education, to build a strong economy and to make innovation inevitable in Ontario."

The Premier made his comments today at a ceremony held at the Munk Centre for International Studies. The king and queen of Sweden also attended the ceremony, honouring this year's Polanyi Prize award recipients.

Established by the Government of Ontario, the prize recognizes the achievement of Dr. John Charles Polanyi, a professor and researcher at the University of Toronto. Polanyi received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1986.

Each year, up to five prizes are given to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career, who plan to continue post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university. The prizes are awarded in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics, physiology or medicine and economics.

The 2006 prize recipients are: Dr. James Allard, Brock University, for Literature; Dr. Maria DeRosa, Carleton University, for Chemistry; Dr. Roman Rafikov, University of Toronto, for Physics; Dr. Peter Cadieux, University of Western Ontario, for Physiology/Medicine; and Dr. Elizabeth Gillies, University of Western Ontario, for Chemistry.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the award, the prize value was increased from $15,000 to $20,000 for this year and future years.

"This year marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Polanyi prizes," said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Chris Bentley. "Our government is proud to not only continue to celebrate the research excellence of one of Canada's most distinguished scientists, but also to recognize the achievements of our brightest young researchers who are helping to create a culture of innovation here in Ontario."

Promoting research excellence is the latest way the McGuinty government is working on the side of families who want their sons and daughters to find opportunity. Other initiatives include:

  • Investing $6.2 billion in our universities, colleges and student financial assistance and training programs by 2009-10 -- the most significant multi-year investment in Ontario's higher education system in 40 years
  • Increasing full-time enrolment opportunities in postsecondary education for qualified students
  • Investing nearly $1.7 billion over five years in research, commercialization and outreach programs to help build a culture of innovation in Ontario.

"Research lies at the heart of a virtuous circle," said Premier McGuinty. "Research generates new ideas and these ideas have value in their own right. By sharing knowledge, providing support, and bringing thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs together, Ontario is ensuring new investments, new wealth and higher paying jobs."


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