Province calls for innovative solutions to combat COVID-19

TORONTO — The provincial government is calling on research, post-secondary and non-profit scientific institutions to develop innovative solutions to track and defeat COVID-19.

On April 18, the province announced $20 million in funding to advance medical research and develop tools and resources to fight COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.

“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 health care workers the tools and resources they need to deliver top-notch care for patients.”

Many colleges, universities, research hospitals and institutes across Ontario have stepped up since the pandemic began to donate ventilators and personal protective equipment, and conduct research on detection and treatment of the virus.

Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities said that the innovation and expertise of Ontario’s research community is needed “now more than ever.”

“Our province, our country and the entire world face an unprecedented situation,” said Romano. “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.”

Types of research eligible for the funding includes, but is not limited to, researching the COVID-19 strain, developing a vaccine, enhancing testing procedures, or improving modelling tools to help track the virus.

The province is encouraging researchers to submit proposals through the Ontario Together website. These proposals will be accepted until April 24.

In a press release, the province stated they are particularly interested in proposals that are highly feasible with achievable results within one to two years.