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September 2003

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Year in Review | September

Five projects from Memorial University were selected for funding under the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF). In addition to the $13.1 million Inco Innovation Centre, to be located at the university, Memorial will also receive $8.5 million to undertake four projects. A total of $21.6 million in AIF funding was awarded to these innovative research and development projects that represent a major step toward helping Newfoundland and Labrador compete in the global, knowledge-based economy. AIF funds projects up to a maximum of 80 per cent of the total project costs; matching funds can be found from other funding sources such as federal granting agencies and private sector partners. The total funds generated from the four research projects plus the Inco Innovation Centre will bring into the university a total of almost $57 million. The announcement was made at a press conference Sept. 11 by Gerry Byrne, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Newfoundland and Labrador’s representative in the federal cabinet.

Memorial’s successful projects are: The Centre for Marine Simulation will undertake a Modeling/Simulation of Harsh Environments project to provide workers in Newfoundland’s offshore with the necessary skills to ensure safety and efficiency in oil and gas operations in harsh maritime environments; Memorial University’s Botanical Garden will undertake a project named Plant Atlantic to establish a home-based production industry for Atlantic Canadian hardy ornamental plants. The project is led by Dr. Wilf Nicholls, director of the Botanical Garden; RAVEN – Remote Aerial Vehicles for Environmental monitoring, a project of Memorial’s Instrumentation, Control and Automation Centre (INCA), proposes to develop a maritime surveillance system utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Dr. Siu O’Young, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is the lead investigator; and the Faculty of Medicine and School of Pharmacy will develop an online, database-driven application for pharmacogenetics and drug effectiveness research. Lead investigator Dr. Proton Rahman said the PRD will be a complex application of bio-informatics that will bring together drug prescription, health, and genetic information for the purpose of research. The total value of these four Memorial University projects is $23.8 million, which includes the $8.49 million in AIF funding, plus $15.2 million anticipated to be leveraged by the proponents through private sector and other government funding partnerships.

For the first time in the history of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, student registrations broke the 1,300 mark. According to statistics generated by the Registrar's Office, about 1,330 students registered so far this semester. The previous year, Grenfell College had registered 1,210 students, in 2001, 1,253 students, and in 2000, 1,196 students. These numbers include bachelor of nursing students at Western Regional School of Nursing.


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