October 31, 2011
HALIFAX, N.S. – A $2.63 million provincial investment is putting leading-edge research labs and equipment in place to support world-class research. This is enabling Nova Scotia universities to attract and retain the brightest researchers and students at a time of intense global competition.
Lois Levine, Executive Director of Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), emphasizes the significance of the province’s funding. “It’s a great investment that can bring economic, health, education and social benefits. NSRIT funding enables state-of-the-art research capacity to innovate and develop new products for today and tomorrow’s solutions. Students, and in fact all Nova Scotians, can reap positive outcomes for cutting-edge training, good jobs, and improved quality of living.”
NSRIT matches funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Along with other partner contributions, including Genome Canada, this recent $2.63M investment represents a total value to the Province of Nova Scotia of $11M, through significant leveraging opportunities. It is predicted that upwards of 300 highly qualified people will be involved in these 17 research infrastructure projects over the next five years.
The beneficiaries of this recent funding include Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Saint Mary’s University and StFX University.
Dr. Daniel Boyd, of Dalhousie University, is the recipient of a $123,773 NSRIT award. This will go towards his total $330,964 project to purchase equipment to build capacity for innovative medical devices used in oncology and orthopaedics. “These devices have major benefits for Nova Scotians”, Dr. Boyd explains. “They are minimally invasive procedures, and reduce the need for long hospital stays. We’ve already had massive success. Worldwide, 40% of women over the age of 35 who develop uterine tumours may require a hysterectomy. Our device, implanted in the uterus, treats the fibroid tumour, drastically reducing the need for surgery.”
Some of the NSRIT recently funded projects will provide advanced capacity to focus on clean technology, which uses new science to address the roots of ecological problems. Dr. Jason Clyburne, at Saint Mary’s University, is developing technologies to remove harmful CO2 from industrial gas emissions, such as burning coal. With $106,398 from NSRIT towards the total $265,994 project to support state-of-the-art equipment, Dr. Clyburne and his students will measure the cost savings associated with wasted energy of current carbon capture systems. “The new calorimeter equipment will allow Saint Mary’s students to be on the forefront of clean technology. It will train leading-edge researchers by enabling them to work in real green chemistry. It’s the nuts and bolts of the new green economy”, explains Dr. Clyburne.
StFX University’s Dr. Lisa Kellman received $92,559 from NSRIT for her $213,339 project to purchase a mass spectrometer to advance clean technology. This sophisticated equipment can analyze soil, which stores three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, making it an excellent indicator of how the environment is changing. Dr. Kellman explains, “These carbon capture findings could help government and industry make future economic decisions. This research has implications for all Nova Scotians, as it could shape future policies and decisions relating to clear cutting, deforestation, land use, or climate change.”
The Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) supports research infrastructure in Nova Scotia by matching national funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). NSRIT benefits researchers in areas such as Health and Life Sciences, Ocean Technology, Clean Technology, and Information and Communications Technology. Since 2001, the Province of Nova Scotia – through NSRIT – has awarded over $66 million to more than 340 projects at Nova Scotia research beneficiary institutions, dramatically leveraging opportunities for innovation and direct economic benefits to the people of Nova Scotia and beyond.
For further information, contact:
Lois Levine, Executive Director
Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT)