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Half-million-dollar support given to researchers in Saskatchewan


Saskatoon, SK – Five research projects at the University of Saskatchewan will receive over $500,000 from the government of Saskatchewan through the province’s Innovation and Science Fund. The contribution matches that provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) New Opportunities Fund and Canada Research Chairs Program.

The funding will support:

– $174,800 for infrastructure to assist Qiaoqin Yang, Canada Research Chair in Nanonengineering Coating Technologies, to create and develop super-hard surface coatings to protect such items as tools, machine parts, magnetic storage media and biomedical implants from wear;

– $162,000 for infrastructure that will assist Monique Dub, Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Health System Diagnosis, to help identify environmental changes in river systems and in the health of the rivers’ bugs and fish;

– $78,000 to biologist Ken Wilson to enhance understanding of how plants, particularly Saskatchewan algae species, respond to environmental changes including those changes experienced as a result of global warming;

– $73,768 to engineering professor Xiongbiao (Daniel) Chen to establish a unique regional and national precision fluid manipulation laboratory to develop new methods of applying fluid in electronics packaging processes and new techniques for creating artificial tissues and organs; and

– $57,000 to agricultural scientist Tim Mutsvangwa for research into feed for beef and dairy cattle to improve productivity and the environmental impact of livestock operations.

“This support will contribute to research advances in biotechnology, health, agriculture and the environment,” says Andrew Thomson, the province’s learning minister. “Since 2000 when the fund was introduced, the province has contributed nearly $52 million in Innovation and Science Fund grants to support research in our province. This funding has helped Saskatchewan’s research institutions expand in innovative directions and develop a solid research infrastructure while supporting the province’s priority to encourage and diversify our research sector.”

The Innovation and Science Fund supports research at Saskatchewan’s universities, colleges, and research institutes on projects receiving approval and funding from the CFI, the Canada Research Chairs and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Innovation and Science Fund recipients for 2005/06 will be recognized at the Premier’s Celebration of Innovation and Science in spring 2006.