Minister of Energy,
Science & Technology
Welcome to the Ontario Challenge Fund web site. I invite you to visit and see how Ontario, through its support of research and development, has become a world leader in the creation and promotion of innovation by business.
In Ontario -- the future's right here, and initiatives such as the Challenge Fund will help Ontario become a major economic player in the 21st Century. Innovation is the key to future economic success, and research and development is the vehicle that will get us there. You only have to look at the cluster of high-tech firms in the Kitchener-Waterloo area or "Silicon Valley North" centred in Kanata and the Ottawa area to see how innovation and its subsequent application by business spurs economic growth and creates jobs.
The Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund is itself a partnership between five ministries of the Ontario government (Energy, Science and Technology; Training, Colleges and Universities; Economic Development and Trade; Finance; and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Ontario Jobs and Investment Board. It was created to strengthen Ontario's already impressive R&D record, which is the best in Canada.
Ontario is also one of the best jurisdictions in the world for supporting R&D through tax incentives and institutional grants. Last year's Ontario Budget provided for a number of new tax measures including the Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit, a 20 per cent refundable R&D tax credit for corporate-sponsored R&D performed in Ontario.
Ontario has 17 highly respected universities and a number of other research institutions. Ontario companies lead Canada in their ability to use new technology, and Ontario manufacturers have the highest rate of technology adoption.
We have the most R&D intensive economy in Canada, equalling two per cent of our province's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, not only does our province lead Canada, our R&D investments are more than those in the rest of Canada combined.
If we are to continue taking advantage of the economic growth that stems from applying innovation, we must first make sure that our best and brightest scientists, researchers and technicians remain in our province, and second, we must attract other top researchers to make their home here.
We can do this by creating an atmosphere that fosters research excellence and promotes and strengthens partnerships between the province's business and research communities. The Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund has committed $500 million in support of qualifying proposals that reflect a real, committed partnership between business and universities, colleges, hospitals and other research institutions.
This web site contains information on the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, as well as an application form for use by universities and research institutions. As you go through this information, I am confident that you will see that Ontario is the right place to work with the brightest and best.
Minister of Energy, Science & Technology