FOUR NBIF RESEARCHERS RECEIVE $4.7M CHAIRS IN BIO-RELATED FIELDSadmin May 4, 2015
Today NBIF announced four new research chairs representing an investment of $4.7 million over five years.
Areas of research include new hybrid wood products for construction of taller buildings; advanced methods for managing parasites and diseases in cultured and wild fish; automated drones and technology that will reduce the environmental and financial cost of forest management, and; new microwave-based, non-invasive cancer detection processes and treatments.
“Turning research into enterprise is an important and strategic component of our business model at NBIF, and part of our continuing expansion plan,” says NBIF chair Cathy Simpson, “our investments have helped create over 50 startup companies and fund over 400 applied research projects. These new chairs demonstrate our commitment to being at the intersection of research and enterprise, and the direction we’re taking to better uncover and accelerate unexploited opportunities for growth.”
Today’s announcement presented the remaining four of seven recipients selected through a selection process. Each Chair will receive $1,000,000 in applied research funding over five years, plus two graduate research assistants and one research technician, valued at $175,000. The first three chairs, Dr. Erik Scheme, Dr. Nathalia Stackhanova and Dr. Marc Surette were announced in June 2014.
Obtaining the chair was a highly-competitive process that required research institutes and universities to send letters of intent. That process resulted in selected finalists making a presentation before a selection committee.
The 2015 recipients are:
• Dr. Duane Barker – NB Innovation Research Chair in Innovative Aquatic Biosciences– Huntsman Marine Science Centre
Climate change, its associated ocean acidification, and industry pollution is threatening the traditional fishing industry. Dr. Barker’s aim is to help New Brunswick aquatic industries overcome these challenges.
• Dr. Bedarul Alam – NB Innovation Research Chair in Precision Forestry – Northern Hardwoods Research Institute
The forest is a pillar of the New Brunswick economy, contributing $1.5 billion each year. Dr. Alam’s work will help to maximize forest output while simultaneously maintaining its diversity. His innovative approaches to value-chain optimization and forest management will add value to this very important sector while minimizing industrial impact on our forests.
• Dr. Ying Hei Chui – NB Innovation Research Chair in Advanced Wood Products – University of New Brunswick
The decline in the forestry sector has had a major financial impact on the provincial economy. In order to strengthen this economic powerhouse, Dr. Chui’s has created new wood based products that can be used in mid-rise and non-residential buildings in Canada and export markets. These green, carbon-neutral products have the potential for more wide spread use, which would allow for more wood and hybrid construction materials in the future.
• Dr. Jocelyn Paré – NB Innovation Research Chair in Medical Technologies – Atlantic Cancer Research Institute
With New Brunswick’s aging population, the effects of cancer on healthcare costs, life expectancy and suffering, are continuing to increase. Dr. Paré is developing new, non-invasive treatments and more precise screening methods for detecting cancer.