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Government of Canada supports over 75 science and engineering research teams

UNB research team will work with Atlantic Hydrogen to develop better, cleaner, cheaper renewable fuel

February 10, 2015 – Fredericton, New Brunswick

Scientists, engineers and students at universities across Canada will receive significant support from the Government of Canada to find solutions to key industry challenges over the next decade. By addressing these challenges, these projects will create new jobs, opportunities and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), accompanied by Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique—Mactaquac, made the announcement at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) today. The university will receive $306,200 over three years to develop new technology to help Canada develop better, cleaner and cheaper renewable fuel and strengthen its leadership in this industry.

UNB’s Dr. Ying Zheng, Canada Research Chair in Chemical Processes and Catalysis, and her team will work in collaboration with Queen’s University at Belfast, and Atlantic Hydrogen Inc. to build on previous catalyst discoveries that improve biofuel quality and yields, and reduce the energy consumption involved in refining them. This research will allow small biorefineries to use this new technology as a cost-effective solution to produce the next generation of biofuels used in diesel and gasoline.

These investments are the result of the 2014 Strategic Project Grants competition, administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Through this program, researchers work with companies on projects that will generate new knowledge and technology with the strong potential to strengthen Canada’s industrial base, generate wealth, and create employment opportunities in areas of importance to Canadians.

Quick Facts

  • NSERC Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects aim to increase research and training in areas that could strongly influence Canada’s economy, society or environment in the next 10 years in four target areas: environmental science and technologies; information and communications technologies; manufacturing; and natural resources and energy.
  • This year, $38 million in support will be awarded to 78 scientific teams at universities across the country. Researchers will work with companies and other organizations on long-term projects in areas that benefit Canadians and improve their quality of life.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government’s commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada’s Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada’s position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • NSERC Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects correspond to all three pillars of the renewed ST&I Strategy (Knowledge, People and Innovation) by developing highly skilled people, building research knowledge and sharing this expertise with business to improve processes and technologies.


“In our government’s updated Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, we are making record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Today we are supporting research that is addressing key industry challenges over the next decade in natural resources and energy, manufacturing, environmental science and technologies, and information and communications technologies.”
– Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“The University of New Brunswick is at the forefront of so many innovations. Our government is proud to support this research that will help businesses like Atlantic Hydrogen produce better, cleaner and cheaper biofuels while creating new job opportunities in New Brunswick.”
– Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique—Mactaquac

“The best research brings talented minds together to create the exciting ideas and advancements of tomorrow. NSERC is proud to support these strategic projects that extend our knowledge and create new innovations that will define our future.”
– 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)

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

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.

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