Canadian Government Announces Investments in Robotics Field

Researchers will work with companies on long-term projects in areas of importance to Canadians.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was at McGill University today to announce the Government's support for 83 scientific teams at universities across the country. Researchers will work with companies on long-term projects in areas of importance to Canadians.


"Our Government's top priority is creating jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity," said Minister of State Goodyear. "Fostering a strong research environment and supporting partnerships are fundamental building blocks for a modern competitive economy. This funding will allow companies to increase their research and development activities in Canada by maximizing the expertise and knowledge of our researchers."

Of the 83 projects, 81 are receiving more than $36 million over three years to support early-stage work and to encourage collaboration among academic researchers, industry and government partners through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Strategic Project Grants. The goal of these grants is 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.

In addition, McGill University and University of Toronto will share $9.4 million over five years for two Strategic Network Grants. These grants are for large-scale, multidisciplinary research projects in targeted areas that require collaboration between academic researchers and Canadian-based organizations and companies to address problems that will affect the industry over the next 10 years. This year, the Networks funded will focus on research into aquatic ecosystems, and on outdoor field robotics.

"The work these research teams undertake will solve real-world problems that help their industry partners succeed," stated Janet Walden, Vice-President, Research Partnerships Programs of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. "They exemplify NSERC's goal of connecting and applying the strength of the academic research system to address the opportunities and challenges of building prosperity for our country."

Through these two programs, McGill University received a total of $9 million. Funding will go towards ten research projects that will examine a variety of issues, such as helping detect bacteria in wastewater treatment plants and improving energy efficiency of wireless communications networks. The University also received funding for a network in the field of robotics, which will help develop robotics technologies that could be used for automated tasks, such as search and rescue operations or air and water quality assessment.

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

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovation firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and highly skilled workforce that are required for a more prosperous economy.

Source: http://www.canada.gc.ca

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