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Government of Canada Investment to Improve Flood Forecasting, Green Manufacturing

New research networks led by McMaster University and University of Toronto will create jobs, improve quality of life of Canadians

November 28, 2014 – Hamilton, Ontario

Two new networks will receive significant support from the Government of Canada to help develop flood forecasting systems and green manufacturing technologies.

David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement at McMaster University. The university will receive funding for its FloodNet Network, which will develop advanced warning systems to help protect Canadians from the often devastating effects of floods.

In addition, the University of Toronto will receive funding for the Industrial Biocatalysis Network. This network will explore new ways to use enzymes to produce more environmentally friendly chemicals, plastics and other products.

These investments are the result of the most recent competition in the Strategic Network Grants program, which is administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Through this program, researchers work with companies on long-term projects in areas of importance to Canadians.

Quick Facts

  • McMaster University will receive $5 million over five years to support the FloodNet network. Currently, no advanced flood alert system is available in Canada. Lead FloodNet researcher, Dr. Paulin Coulibaly, will work with University of Guelph, Université Laval, University of Manitoba, Université de Moncton, University of New Brunswick, University of Saskatchewan, Trent University, University of Waterloo, and University of Western to fill this gap by developing flood forecasting systems.

  • Other network partners include AeroScribe Consulting, Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute, Credit Valley Conservation, Deltares USA Inc., DHI Canada, Hydro-Québec, Manitoba Hydro, Ontario Climate Consortium, Ontario Power Generation Inc, among others.

  • The University of Toronto will receive $5 million in funding to launch its Industrial Biocatalysis Network, led by Dr. Elizabeth Edwards, in collaboration with Concordia University and the University of British Columbia. Other Network partners include: CanSyn Chem Corp, DuPont Canada Inc., Elanco Animal Health/Division of Eli Lilly, Lallemand Inc., Monaghan Biosciences Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. The discoveries made through this new network will support the growth of the emerging bio-based chemical and materials sector.

  • NSERC Strategic Network Grants support large-scale, multidisciplinary research projects that require collaboration between academic researchers, organizations and companies across Canada to address challenges facing a particular industry over the next 10 years.


“McMaster University is at the forefront of so many innovations. The network being supported here today for flood forecasting is another excellent example. It will help address the critical issue of river flooding in Canada while also spurring innovation—a key to continued economic growth. Through initiatives like this, Canada is translating knowledge into practical applications to improve our wealth, wellness, and well-being.”
– David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale

“Strategic Network Grants foster the kind of collaboration that allows students, established researchers, businesses and others to work hand-in-hand on the discoveries and innovations that will have impact in a reduced time frame. The transformative breakthroughs that result from this kind of collaboration help to tackle complex research questions and accelerate solutions to some of society’s toughest challenges.”
– Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, NSERC

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Tel.: 343-291-2700

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.