Senate Research Report - December 2020

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide timely information to the research community on the impact to research in response to public health case updates, the VPR provides frequent email communications and website updates for reassurance and guidance, and we encourage the Queen’s community to visit the VP Research website regularly for current details on CRCEF funding and Tri-agency extensions. 

The VPR launched the second Wicked Ideas competition at the end of November.  A key strategic goal of this competition is to support and strengthen opportunities for teams of researchers at Queen’s to successfully compete in the New Frontiers in Research Fund suite of programs.  Wicked Ideas proceeds in two phases, the first of which awards $75,000 to winning teams, and the second of which awards $150,000 to select teams from phase one.  Details regarding the competition are available on the VPR website.    

  Research News 

The Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio and partners have had significant success over the last two years attracting roughly $6.1M in matching funds through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) via four applications (3 awarded and 1 pending): the Women’s Entrepreneurship project (WE-Can), Invest Ottawa (IO), and Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP). Most recently, the FedDev Ontario partnership has resulted in supporting upwards of 70 science or tech-based companies and over 150 women and Indigenous women entrepreneurs in Eastern Ontario. The WE-Can project ($3.2M) represents one of the portfolio’s recent successes leading key EDII initiatives. It supports the development and delivery of new programs and services to three groups of women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups in Kingston and region, including those who have founded or lead technology companies, women entrepreneurs who identify as Indigenous, and women entrepreneurs from other diverse and underrepresented groups. In July, the first cohort of the Rural Mentorship Program was announced.  In October, FedDev Ontario announced a contribution of $6.5M to TIAP.  The funding will be matched by TIAP and program collaborators, including Queen’s University, to leverage TIAP’s decade-long expertise in scouting and incubating health science technologies, enable access to management talent for health science ventures, and support the growth of health science companies into domestic anchor companies. 

The recently issued 2020 Startup Blink Ecosystem Report placed Kingston in the top ten cities in Canada for start-ups. Kingston’s recent strong efforts in the entrepreneurship and innovation space propelled it to ninth in Canada for 2020, and firmly into the top 150 in the world. In fact, Kingston is the fourth best city in the world for cities with between 100,000 and 300,000 residents. Access to the report can be found on the StartupBlink website. 

John Smol (Biology) has earned Canada’s Massey Medal, which honours him for his lifetime work in studying environmental stressors. 

Three Queen’s researchers received its top recognition for research excellence – the Prize for Excellence in Research.  Each recipient received $20,000 in research funding.  New this year was a consideration of overall research impact and efforts in knowledge mobilization through collaborations and partnerships, and in sharing research beyond the academy. 

  • Michael Cunningham (Chemical Engineering)  
  • Gabor Fichtinger (School of Computing) 
  • Yan-Fei Liu (Electrical and Computer Engineering)