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$4.7M funding supports four research chairs in New Brunswick


Fredericton, NB – Four new research chairs have been announced by the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chairs Initiative, with funding of $4.7 million over five years. The foundation administers the initiative for the provincial government.

Areas of research include new hybrid wood products for the 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.

The announcement presented the remaining four of seven recipients selected through a selection process administered by the foundation. Each chair will receive $1 million in applied research funding over five years, plus two graduate research assistants and one research technician, valued at $175,000. The first three chairs, Erik Scheme, Nathalia Stackhanova and Marc Surette were announced in June 2014.

The 2015 recipients are:

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. Barker’s aim is to help New Brunswick aquatic industries overcome these challenges.

Dedarul 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. 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 important sector while minimizing industrial impact on our forests.

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, Chui 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.

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. Paré is developing new, non-invasive treatments and more precise screening methods for detecting cancer.

“These new chairs demonstrate our commitment to being at the intersection of research and enterprise, and the direction we are taking to better uncover and accelerate unexploited opportunities for growth,” said Cathy Simpson, foundation chair.