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Province boosts health care research in the North

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines News Release ************************ THUNDER BAY – The McGuinty government is investing in health care research and supporting the establishment of a new regional innovation network for the North, Northern
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Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
News Release

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THUNDER BAY – The McGuinty government is investing in health care research and supporting the establishment of a new regional innovation network for the North, Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle announced today.

“Regional innovation networks can build on the work of private companies like Genesis Genomics and lever new opportunities for prosperity,” said Gravelle, who also chairs the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). "Today’s two announcements reaffirm our commitment to work with the private sector and academia to champion northern initiatives in key biotechnology sectors and I am delighted that Thunder Bay will take a lead role on the health care front.”

The NOHFC is making a $500,000 investment to establish Innovation Initiatives Ontario North, a regional innovation network for Northern Ontario. This pan-northern initiative will focus on three main economic sectors – bioproducts/bioenergy, biomedical/healthcare, and environmental/mining. It will work with business, institutions and government to help ensure that Northern Ontario participates in a number of provincial economic development and diversification projects.

In addition, the NOHFC is making a $311,735 investment to help Genesis Genomics Inc. to commercialize a new prostate cancer test it has been developing with the help of a previous NOHFC investment of $238,000. The company will conduct research to determine if the processes developed for the prostate cancer test can also be used for the early detection of breast cancer.

“Providing Ontarians the best quality health care is one of our government’s most important priorities,” said Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro, “Ground-breaking health care research is being conducted right here in Northwestern Ontario and I am delighted that the provincial government is a partner in these exciting ventures.”

This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have achieved results in the North. Other examples include:

• Improving access to health care professionals and providing $6.7 million in bursaries for the students of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
• Contributing more than $14.9 million to date, from the NOHFC, to provide internships and work placements to help 779 young northerners launch their careers in the North
• Providing more than $2.6 million to date, through the Northern Ontario Young Entrepreneur Program, to help 121 young people start their own business.

These initiatives are part of the government’s Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

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