The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is investing more than $5.3 million into research and development (R&D) projects at Memorial University in areas relevant to offshore petroleum, ocean technology, healthcare, aquaculture and other natural resource industries.
The funding will focus on solving technical challenges and identifying new opportunities such as ice-structure interaction in polar regions, effective oil spill clean-up methods that minimize environmental impact and more efficient ways to extract precious metals.
"This investment is paving the way for the future success of our researchers and academic institutions and to the collaborative efforts among academia and industry for the future economic growth of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the RDC. "These projects are essential for enhancing the R&D capacity within Newfoundland and Labrador. Increased activity is leading to further economic growth in this province and strengthening Newfoundland and Labrador's international reputation as a world-class centre for innovation."
More than 30 researchers from the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Music, Grenfell Campus, Faculty of Medicine and C-CORE are receiving funding that will leverage more than $16.9 million from other research sponsors. These include the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Husky Energy and Rolls Royce Marine.
"RDC is helping facilitate local, national and international research and development collaboration between Memorial, other institutions and industry leaders," said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer, RDC. "This investment builds upon the existing base of research expertise in Newfoundland and Labrador and is another example of how R&D plays a critical role in driving future innovation."
The investment is provided through RDC's academic programs which focus on building the R&D capacity required for innovation and commercialization within the province.
"The funding announced by RDC, along with investments leveraged from federal and private sector sources, will advance strategic areas of research for which we are already well known, and on which much of our future prosperity depends," said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University.
RDC has invested $800,000 to further advance the research of Dr. Claude Daley, chair, ocean and naval architectural engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. He is examining the technical challenges of operating large ships and offshore structures in ice environments. The total cash and in-kind value of the research effort is $7.15 million over five years.
Dr. Daley said his research team is tackling issues that will enable the offshore energy industry to grow and develop in the province in ways that are safe, sustainable and profitable for all.
"The support I am receiving enables graduate and undergraduate students to gain valuable experience while allowing us to benefit from their creativity and enthusiasm," said Dr. Daley. "The research climate in our faculty has improved remarkably in recent years, thanks in large part to the creation of RDC and as a result, we are conducting ambitious and practical research that produces lasting results."
An overview of the projects receiving funding from RDC as well as detailed project descriptions are all available online at www.rdc.org.