May 22, 2012
NAIT research addressing environmental impact of the oil sands receives $1.6 million in funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation
NAIT is focusing several of its key applied research projects on reducing the environmental impact of oil sands developments. New funding of nearly $1.6 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will help support this ongoing research, which is closely integrated with the needs of industrial partners.
“Our researchers, technical staff and students are providing the sort of real-world solutions that not only industry, but Albertans, are demanding,” said NAIT president and CEO, Dr. Glenn Feltham. “Their work will play a critical role in making the province’s energy sector greener while helping to establish NAIT as a leader in applied research among polytechnics in Canada. These CFI grants demonstrate confidence in the important work which NAIT has undertaken.”
NAIT’s Boreal Research Institute will receive $800,000 while another $799,863 will be directed to the Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering. The money will flow through CFI’s College-Industry Innovation Fund, which seeks to enhance the capacity of colleges to support business innovation by providing them with state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to foster partnerships with the private sector.
“Canadian colleges are lending their expertise to local companies, helping them to compete and grow,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, president and CEO of the CFI. “The CFI is ensuring that colleges have in place specialized facilities to support their role as important hubs of economic growth and job creation.”
Since its creation in 1995, the Boreal Research Institute has become recognized as a leader in applied research of forest land reclamation and education. The CFI funding will help the Boreal Research Institute build new infrastructure in Peace River, including a 2,600 square foot research greenhouse and adjacent 1,800 square-foot header house, which will contain a preparation area, cold room and laboratory for seed testing.
Through the Centre for Green Chemistry and Engineering in Edmonton, NAIT’s technical staff is focused on developing cost-effective, breakthrough solutions 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.
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.
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. For more information, visit innovation.ca.
About the College-Industry Innovation Fund
The College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) targets projects that will enhance the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by providing them with state-of-the art, industry-relevant, research infrastructure.
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NAIT Media Relations
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Ryan Saxby Hill
Canada Foundation for Innovation
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