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Government of Canada invests in next-generation sustainable technologies

More than $50 million for 94 research projects in solar energy, data technology, and electric vehicles, among others

News release

February 15, 2017

February 15, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario

Bringing together some of the brightest people from universities, industry and other organizations is vital to developing innovative solutions that will help address some of Canada's biggest challenges. Their combined expertise leads to new technologies and applications, along with the good middle-class jobs that support them. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting partnerships in scientific research that focus on critical issues to Canada's economy, society, and environment.

To demonstrate this commitment, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today announced $50,014,110 in new funding for 94 projects through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The Strategic Partnership Grants program supports collaborations between the research community, industry and government organizations. The projects being funded today address challenges in the areas of environment and agriculture, information and communications technologies, natural resources and energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Minister Duncan made today's announcement at the University of Ottawa, where four projects will share a total of $2,367,328. One of these projects is led by Dr. Karin Hinzer, who is working with Azastra Opto. This project will focus on improving the ability to transmit information by optical power links instead of traditional copper wires. The outcome of this work could greatly improve our ability to transmit vast quantities of data and wirelessly connect to everyday objects.

By supporting these collaborations, the government is advancing its commitment to build an innovative economy, healthier environment, and to grow Canada's middle class. 


"Connecting Canada's scientists and engineers with companies and government organizations is vital for creating new jobs and sustainable growth that support a clean, innovative society. Our government's support for such partnerships strengthens talent in key research areas where Canada can be a world leader while simultaneously focusing on fundamental societal and economic issues that will benefit all Canadians and support a stronger middle class."
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"NSERC has made significant investments in unique programs that build strong connections between Canada's brain trust, industry and government sectors. We are proud to support these partnerships tackling significant challenge-driven research that strengthens public policy while also meeting industrial needs."
– Dr. Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC

"Today's announcement by Canada's Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, reaffirms the federal government's commitment to research, innovation and training—three essential pillars of a modern economy. On behalf of all of our researchers, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the cutting edge research you make possible with these grants."
– Dr. Mona Nemer, Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa

"NSERC's Strategic Partnership Grant program allows me to focus on critical emerging research that will fundamentally change how we source and transmit power and data. These new data and power networks will enable the Internet of Things and new smart environments that will improve the quality of life for our population."
- Dr. Karin Hinzer, founder of the SUNLAB, Canada Research Chair in Photonic Nanostructures and Integrated Devices, and Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa

Quick Facts

  • The 94 research projects are being supported over the next three years. With the four projects at the University of Ottawa alone, 32 students will gain real-world expertise and training from some of Canada's research leaders.
  • The average funding amount per project is $532,065.
  • NSERC conducts extensive evaluations to ensure that these projects remain relevant for Canada.
  • Our extensive network of peer reviewers meets annually to select the winners for each competition.

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Associated links

Follow Minister Duncan on social media:
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

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Stefanie Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
Tel.: 343-291-2600

Lucy Lai
Media Relations Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-996-2341

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777


NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

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