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$23 million for research into dark matter and green power


Two projects, one aimed at discovering the nature of the universe and the other at creating globally superior computer systems that are highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly have received $23 million in Ontario government funding.

“I am extremely delighted by the success of these two terrific projects in this competition, says Vice Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe. “We sincerely thank the Ontario government for the financial support from the Ontario Research Fund that recognizes research excellence. This funding will allow us to move to a new level of cutting-edge research, in both astroparticle physics and power electronics, by supporting its direct and indirect operational costs.”

From the $23-million total amount, $18 million will go to Queen’s astrophysics professor and lead researcher Anthony Noble, Canada Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics, to fund ongoing research in SNOLAB, the world’s deepest underground laboratory near Sudbury, ON.

By helping researchers gain knowledge about the fundamental properties of matter and possibly identifying a whole new class of matter, the project will increase their understanding of the structure and formation of the universe.

Administered by Carleton University, the SNOLAB collaboration includes Queen’s, Laurentian, UBC, the University of Guelph, the Université de Montréal, and a number of international partners.

The remaining $5 million goes to Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics and lead researcher on a project to develop green technologies for powering information systems.

Aimed at increasing energy efficiency for information systems by 15 to 20 per cent within the next five years, the researchers hope to develop new commercially viable IT-specific renewable energy power systems, including wind and solar-based systems. In the process researchers intend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tonnes a year.

This second round of funding under the Research Excellence program will invest $114,709,614 to support 19 world-class projects at nine Ontario universities, institutes and hospitals. Funding will be matched by 107 major industry and other partners participating in the projects.

“Today’s investment is part of our government’s strategy to fuel research and innovation that will ensure long-term prosperity for all Ontarians,” said Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson. “We are building on one of Ontario’s biggest strengths, our world-class researchers, to create the high-value jobs of the future – jobs that have not even been invented yet.”

Contact: Communications Assistant Molly Kehoe, 613 533-2877, or Communications Coordinator Lorinda Peterson, 613 533-3234,, Queen’s News and Media Services.

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