Volume 12, Number 7 November 19, 2004

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Memorial unveiled

An internment memorial, commissioned by St. Thomas More College's Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, was unveiled recently at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum to commemorate the Eaton Internment Camp.

The camp was one of 26 in the country set up to house civilian enemy aliens designated as prisoners of war during the First World War. The museum is on Highway 60 to Pike Lake.

Auditor points out research waste

OTTAWA - Canada's Auditor General Sheila Fraser has criticized the government for adding $400 million last year to research foundations that have failed to spend the $7 billion they have accumulated over the last seven years.

In news reports from Ottawa, Fraser was said to have complained to the public accounts committee that a number of research foundations were set up by the federal government in a way that she cannot audit to ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Since their establishment, the foundations have received $9 billion but had a balance of unspent funds totaling $7.6 million as of last March. One example is the Canada Foundations for Innovation, which has received $3.6 million but had an unspent balance last March of $3.1 million.

In explaining the situation, Finance Department officials were reported as saying the foundations receive money annually to assure other research funding partners that the federal government has the money for future initiatives.

Spinoff boosted

A U of S spinoff company has been awarded $3 million from the Western Life Sciences Venture Fund to support research and development of a new drug treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

According to a news release, the bulk of the funding will go to IL Therapeutics, located at Innovation Place, to further the work of John Gordon, an immunologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. The funding agreement calls for the company to contract research services at the U of S.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome kills about half its victims or about 75,000 people each year in the U.S. alone.

CFI gives grants

Researchers in five disciplines have been awarded up to 40 per cent of the cost of their projects, or more than $300,000, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation New Opportunities Fund. They include:

  • Curtis Pozniak, Crop Development Centre, for development of molecular tools for breeding durum wheat varieties;
  • Nadeem Jamail, Computer Science, to work on ways computerized devices connect to one another;
  • Neil Chilton, Biology, to develop a molecular systematics and mutation scanning facility for parasitology;
  • Jian Yang, Pharmacy and Nutrition, to look at how an environmental pollutant is degraded by microorganisms; and
  • Michael Bradley, Physics and Engineering Physics, to work on developing advanced photonic materials.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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