HALIFAX, N.S. – A recent $2.7M provincial investment, through the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), towards eight new cutting-edge research projects will involve upwards of 200 highly qualified people over the next five years. This NSRIT support represents a total value to the Province of Nova Scotia of over $9M through significant leveraging opportunities.
As Lois Levine, Executive Director of NSRIT explains, “By leveraging opportunities for innovation, Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust reflects a smart investment by laying the groundwork for Nova Scotia’s competitive research partnerships around the globe”. Ms. Levine elaborates that “by providing infrastructure support, NSRIT advances health-based outcomes, clean technology developments and oceans and environment discoveries that bring promise and solutions for long-term sustainability and commercial benefit”.
At Dalhousie University, Dr. Jeff Dahn’s remarkable award through the Automotive Partnership Canada Fund enables the creation of three state-of-the-art labs to build more efficient lithium-ion batteries for cars of the future and better respirators for emergency responders, helping to save lives. As Dr. Dahn explains, “the challenge has been in the length of time required to test these long-life batteries. We have developed an innovative method to significantly reduce the testing time from years to a few weeks. This solution is critical when implanting medical devices into human bodies. These batteries need to last for lifetimes, not just decades”.
NSRIT’s award of $1,825,526 for Dr. Dahn’s project illustrates collaborative business – academic partnerships with five industrial companies including Magna International, 3M Co. and 3M Canada Co., General Motors, Nova Scotia Power Inc.. Along with CFI and NSERC funding, Dahn’s project leverages $6.36M to Nova Scotia. Dr. Dahn’s lab will be a unique-in-the-world facility, accelerating Nova Scotia’s commitment to renewable energy, “I see it as a Field of Dreams of sorts”, he explains. “I am confident that if we build it, they will come. The project will bring highly qualified people and investors, and has the capacity to produce significant economic spin-offs for Nova Scotia and global markets”.
Dr. Daniel Kane of StFX University is investigating how cell structures in skeletal muscle contribute to Type 2 Diabetes. The $142,000 NSRIT award enables this lab to examine smaller samples of tissues, leading to less waste and less invasive exams. Dr. Kane explains that skeletal muscle is like “power plants that burn coal for fuel. We’re examining the conversion of energy in to energy out. If we can better understand how the cell operates, we can design therapeutic approaches to combat diabetes, which Nova Scotia has the 2nd highest rate of in the country”.
Dr. Dale Keefe, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Cape Breton University confirms the importance. “NSRIT funds continue to have a large impact on our ability to attract and retain the very best researchers by providing them with the much-needed infrastructure to support their programs of research. The “ripple effect” of these funds is ongoing; the equipment not only fuels faculty work, but also allows them to train their students with state-of-the-art facilities, inspiring the next generation of researchers”.
NSRIT matches funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The beneficiaries of this recent funding include Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, and StFX University.
For further examples of NSRIT success stories, please visit www.nsrit.ca
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 $66M 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.