Applied research projects receive over $4 million in federal grants
Two NAIT applied research projects will benefit from over $4 million in grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Funding of $2.3 million will be invested over five years to support NAIT’s Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering, where work exploring innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of the oil sands is already underway. An additional $1.75 million over five years will support the NAIT Nanotechnology Centre for Applied Research, Industry Training and Services (NanoCARTS). This represents a combined commitment of $4.05 million, made available through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, which is managed by NSERC.
“These grants support critical applied research at NAIT that’s providing real-world solutions to important environmental issues around the sustainability of the energy sector, as well as enhancing Alberta’s nanotechnology sector,” said NAIT president and CEO, Dr. Glenn Feltham. “The work being done by our researchers, technical staff and students will ultimately position Alberta as an international leader in these areas.”
The funding announcement was made by the Honorable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, while addressing the Polytechnics Canada Annual Conference, hosted by Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. As part of this initiative, the Government of Canada will support 35 post-secondary institutions that will be partnering with business to conduct research projects.
“These investments provide colleges with access to the people, resources and tools they need to be at the forefront of innovation,” said Suzanne Fortier, president of NSERC. “The ultimate goal is to create sustainable partnerships that will help sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on the bottom line of our country and industry.”
Through the Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering, NAIT is focused on developing cost-effective, breakthrough solutions in conjunction with industry that will reduce the environmental impact of fluid tailings ponds. Researchers believe that with the right combination of technologies, the cumulative impacts of oil sands development can be minimized in a timely manner, meeting the reclamation goals of government. The 6,000 square-foot Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering is located the Edmonton Research Park.
The NanoCARTS centre serves the nanotechnology and microtechnology-related needs of industry, notably small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the areas of prototyping, product enhancement, testing, training and characterization. The goal of NanoCARTS is to increase the efficiency of the regional innovation system by addressing the growing market demand for prototyping and product development services in the Alberta nanotechnology cluster.
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating matter at a molecular scale.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 postsecondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.
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