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2010 Synergy Awards highlight university-industry partnerships


Ottawa, ON – The recipients of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s 2010 Synergy Awards for Innovation have been announced. The awards recognize university-industry research and development collaborations that lead to new products.

This year’s recipients are:

– Ahmet Alpas of the University of Windsor, and General Motors Canada Limited, for their research on lightweight materials for automotive products and manufacturing processes;

– Brahim Benmokrane of the Université de Sherbrooke, and Pultrall Inc, for the development of fibreglass and carbon-fibre composites to reinforce concrete structures;

– Donald Mavinic of The University of British Columbia, and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Metro Vancouver, EPCOR Water Service Inc. and Clean Water Services Ltd. for developing an efficient phosphorus recovery technology; and

– Roderick Guthrie and Mihaiela Isac of McGill University, and the member companies of the McGill Metals Processing Centre (MMPC)-Hatch, Novelis, Heraeus Electro-Nite, Sumitomo Metals Industries, and Rio Tinto, together with its subsidiaries QIT-Fer et Titane, and Alcan-who have garnered NSERC’s prestigious Leo Derikx Award, for their innovative contributions to global advances in the processing of liquid and solid metals.

Award-winning researchers receive a $200,000 research grant, while each industry partner has an opportunity to hire an NSERC Industrial R&D Fellow for two years, with NSERC supporting the industrial portion of the fellow’s salary. Recipients will be recognized at ceremonies to be held at later dates.

“The strategic investments that NSERC has made over the years have led to numerous successful collaborations such as those we are recognizing today,” says Dr Suzanne Fortier, NSERC’s president. “The Synergy Awards highlight partnerships that bring together the best researchers from Canadian universities and the leading innovators from the private sector, resulting in the transfer of tangible research results to those who can translate them into economic and social benefits for Canadians.”