A two-year grant will be given to a laboratory that will provide expertise in the setup of astroparticle physics studies.

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLAB) is one of numerous Ontario research institutes that has received funding from the province.

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced $48 million in total for research and innovation on Tuesday, including $12 million going to SNOLAB in Greater Sudbury over a two-year period.

At Vale’s Creighton Mine, the underground laboratory is two kilometers underground. For neutrino and dark matter studies, astroparticle physics experiments are carried out in cleanrooms. SNOLAB attracts scientists from all over the world to perform investigations.

“The output of SNOLAB is science, fundamentally,” said interim executive director Clarence Virtue. “However, the science is done by huge multinational collaborations, and SNOLAB is a facility that is truly hosting these worldwide collaborations and the experiments that they perform.”

Clarence Virtue is the temporary executive director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLAB), a Greater Sudbury-based underground physics research facility that accommodates international scientific research collaborations. CREDIT: (Miriane Demers-Lemay/CBC)


The new provincial funding is for the facility and its workers to give expertise in setting up the experiments, rather than for research projects at SNOLAB. Other sources of funding are used to fund research studies.

Virtue stated, “We give expertise in building world-leading experiments in the underground cleanroom environment.” “We have 145 individuals with all of this experience who are assisting with the setup of the trials.”

Canada has a well-deserved reputation

“We’re investing in people,” Virtue added, “in creating opportunities for talented, young scientists in Canada and around the world.”

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In particle physics, Canada has a good international reputation.

“We preserve and build that reputation by hosting significant facilities like SNOLAB in Sudbury and TRIUMF in Vancouver,” Virtue said, adding that their reputation attracts and retains scientists.

Attracting, developing, and retaining researchers in Ontario

“Ontario is committed to supporting pioneering work that will help the province remain a leader in advanced science, technology, and innovation, as well as a jurisdiction of choice for scientific research,” said Jill Dunlop, minister of Colleges and Universities.

“With this investment, the government will be in a better position to attract, train, and retain brilliant researchers, allowing us to continue making important achievements and addressing tough challenges right here in Ontario,” she added.

“Research, innovation, intellectual property management, and commercialization are key drivers in attracting and retaining the best minds and enhancing our global economic competitiveness,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade and Nipissing member of provincial parliament.

“By supporting the [research institutes], we are assisting Ontario in becoming more economically resilient and a more appealing place to invest, as well as creating the ideal atmosphere for the province to foster innovation.”

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