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Innovation awards salute university-industry collaborations


Ottawa, ON October 28, 2003 The winners of the 2003 NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation have been announced by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The awards are given to outstanding university-industry R&D partnerships.

Seven partnerships were singled out for national recognition. They are:

– University of Manitoba professor Lotfollah Shafai and InfoMagnetics Technologies, for state-of-the-art innovations in the design and circuitry of satellite and wireless antennas;

– Simon Fraser University professor Zamir K Punja and the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association, for crop protection and environmental management technologies that have enhanced the competitiveness of the Canadian greenhouse vegetable industry;

– University of Alberta professor Sirish L Shah and Matrikon, for leading-edge process and performance monitoring tools that can be used by industry to reduce costs, optimize process operations and improve product quality;

– University of Windsor professor Douglas Stephan and NOVA Chemicals, for new and cost-effective catalysts to produce high-performance plastics;

– McMaster University professors John MacGregor and Theodora Kourti and Tembec and Dofasco, for statistical methods that recover valuable information from large data flows collected during manufacturing and that lead to major economic benefits and process and product improvements;

– University of Toronto professors Douglas Reeve, Robert Andrews and many others and ERCO Worldwide, for a 50-year partnership that has had enormous environmental and economic benefits for the pulp and paper and water treatment industries; and

– Dalhousie University professor Jeffrey Dahn and 3M Canada and 3M, for new electrode materials that can double the storage capacity and operating time of lithium-ion batteries.

“Creativity and entrepreneurship drive innovation,” said Tom Brzustowski, NSERC president. “These partnerships draw together those who produce new knowledge with those who know how to use it productively in the Canadian economy.”

The seven Canadian university professors will each receive a $25,000 research grant. The participating companies receive a work of art.

The prizes were presented yesterday evening in Vancouver.