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SUBJECT: Research & Development Corporation Announces $1.9 Million in Research Funding
DATE: Sept. 1, 2009

The following is being issued at the request of the Research & Development Corporation:
 

The Research & Development Corporation (RDC), the Crown entity for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s research and development capacity, today announced a $1.9 million investment in research projects at Memorial University of Newfoundland through the Industrial Research and Innovation Fund (IRIF). The investment enables researchers to leverage $5 million from other funding bodies.

            The Industrial Research and Innovation Fund was established by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2004 to provide post-secondary institutions and other not-for-profit research facilities with resources to attract additional federal investments in R&D. Since that time the Provincial Government has invested more than $32 million in the fund. In April 2009 the Provincial Government transferred administration of the fund to the newly formed Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This latest $1.9 million investment will fund 14 research projects in areas relevant to local industry and the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador, including aquaculture, ocean technology, medicine, geodynamics, oil and gas, fisheries and wireless communications.
             "The Industrial Research and Innovation Fund is a key R&D investment vehicle for researchers that enables them to increase the scale of their work by leveraging additional R&D investment from regional, national and international funding sources," said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer of the RDC. "The fund also encourages collaboration among academic researchers and industry and provides start-up investment to establish new R&D capacity in support of research and development in the province."
             "The $1.9 million investment from the Research & Development Corporation, through IRIF, will significantly enhance our ability to attract the best quality researchers and to increase our research capacity and infrastructure in sectors that are strategic to both Memorial and the RDC," said Dr. Ray Gosine, Vice-President (Research) pro tempore at Memorial University.
About IRIF
The Industrial Research and Innovation Fund has three elements for post-secondary institutions and other not-for-profit research facilities that support research and development, innovation and commercialization in Newfoundland and Labrador:
  • LeverageR&D: leverages the incremental R&D investments from regional, national, and international sources by matching financial contributions from public and/or private sources.
  • IgniteR&D: supports new capacity in R&D, innovation, and commercialization in areas relevant to both industry and the provincial economy where applicants are not eligible for LeverageR&D.
  • CollaborativeR&D: helps build R&D capacity in priority areas as well as foster local, national, and international collaborative research and development among academic researchers and industry.
  • About the Research & Development Corporation
    The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation that was established to improve Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. The Research and Development Council Act was passed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in December 2008.
    The Research & Development Corporation operates at arm’s length from government but with responsibility for providing advice and leadership within government. The RDC works with R&D stakeholders including industry, academia and government agencies and departments. For more information about the RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.
                                        BACKGROUNDER
                                      IRIF Research Projects
                                              LeverageR&D
    This program element provides up to 50 per cent of the total eligible costs of a specific proposal on a matching (dollar for dollar) basis from all public and/or private sources. Target sources of leveraged funding include: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), National Centres of Excellence (NCE), Genome Canada, the private sector, and others.
    Dr. Jeremy Hall, Department of Earth Science, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Linkage of Climate and Geodynamics in Development of Plateau at Collisional Plate Margins: Marine Contributions to an International Study of the Central Anatolian Plateau.
    Dr. Hall’s project involves on-land studies of the Anatolian Plateaux uplift, which is complemented by studies of corresponding subsidence in adjacent offshore basins. This $61,735 IRIF award leverages NSERC funding for a total project cost of $666,735. This is a world-class research project that involves collaboration with European partners.
    Dr. Priscilla Renouf, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Memorial University
    Project Title: Canada Research Chair in North Atlantic Archaeology
    Dr. Renouf is receiving a $500,000 IRIF award toward her notable Canada Research Chair in North Atlantic Archaeology. In addition to the Canada Research Chair, Dr. Renouf has also received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This research project totals over $2 million.
    Dr. Barbara Neis, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Memorial University
    Project Title: Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance (CURRA)
    Dr. Neis is receiving $352,500 for the research network CURRA, which carries out community-based, interdisciplinary research in support of regional efforts to devise and implement a recovery strategy for fish stocks and fishery communities. The IRIF funding for this project also matches a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through the Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) program.
    Drs. Mohammed Ahmed and Octavia Dobre, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Advanced Wireless Communication Research Lab (AWCRL)
    Drs. Ahmed and Dobre are receiving $222,819 for the development of an Advanced Wireless Communication Research Lab. This infrastructure will boost R&D activities in the wireless communication area, and facilitate the development of new and improved wireless products. This IRIF funding was used to leverage a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant that is supporting this project for $200,000.
    Professor Dag Friis, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: An Operational Efficiency and Energy Audit in the Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery
    Professor Dag Friis is receiving a $135,000 IRIF award towards an ocean technology project on the operational efficiency of the Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fishery. He will be working with the Marine Institute and with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW). The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) are also supporting this project.
    Drs. Pauline Duke and Marshall Godwin, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University
    Project Title: Effect of Vaginal Self-Sampling on Cervical Cancer Screening Rates: A Community-based Study
    Drs. Duke and Godwin are receiving $180,115 for this collaborative study to evaluate the effectiveness, acceptability, and usage of self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) in communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. IRIF funding was used to leverage funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – Regional Partnerships Program (CIHR-RPP). The total cost for this project is $360,230.
    IgniteR&D
    This program element is intended to establish new R&D capacity in support of research and development, innovation and commercialization in areas relevant to both industry and the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. It provides up to 100 per cent of the total eligible costs of a specific proposal, where matching funds are not available to the researcher on a 1:1 matching basis.
    Dr. Robert Scott, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University
    Project Title: Human Impacts on Boreal Lake Ecosystems
    Dr. Scott has been awarded $20,500 for his research in the area of marine and life sciences. This research will examine how human activities alter boreal lake ecosystems, thereby affecting fish populations. The current research will focus on the impacts of timber harvesting on nutrient input to boreal lakes, and the impacts this has on brook trout.
    Dr. Orland Hoeber, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Multi-Display Visualization of Oceanographic Data
    Dr. Hoeber has been awarded $69,650 for his research in the ocean technology sector. Dr. Hoeber is developing a framework for the multi-display visualization of large spatial data sets. This project will create visual representations of oceanographic observation data.
    Dr. Angela Carter, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University
    Project Title: Innovative Environmental Policy Models in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Oil Sector
    Dr. Carter has been awarded $24,160 to conduct a comparative analysis of the environmental regulatory systems for oil development in key jurisdictions in North America for application in the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector.
    Dr. Mark Abrahams, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Ecosystem Function
    Dr. Abrahams has been awarded $100, 000 to investigate mechanisms that affect predator-prey interactions in aquatic ecosystems, and how these predator-prey interactions are mediated by environmental parameters including dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity.
    Dr. Craig Purchase, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Fish Ecology
    Dr. Purchase has been awarded $67,500 for this research related to the conservation and productivity of marine life. The long-term objectives of this research are to investigate the scope, hierarchical expression within-species, origins and implications of intra-specific life history variation in marine life.
    Dr. Minglun Gong, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Parallel Computer Vision Algorithms for Real-time Processing on GPUs.
    Dr. Gong has been awarded $50,000 to investigate how to perform challenging visions tasks in real-time on programmable graphics hardware.
    Dr. Patrick Gagnon, Ocean Sciences Centre, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Structure and Function of Marine Ecosystems
    Dr. Gagnon has been awarded $66,216 to support the Cold Ocean Benthic Ecology Laboratory located at the Ocean Sciences Centre. This research aims to identify biotic and abiotic interactions that regulate the structure and function of marine ecosystems in temperate and subarctic regions.
    Dr. Abir Igamberdiev, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Memorial University
    Project Title: Physiological mechanisms of plant adaption to abiotic stress
    Dr. Igamberdiev has been awarded $70,000 to conduct research targeted on investigations of physiological and biochemical mechanisms of plant adaptation to stress conditions.

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