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Innovation partnerships win Synergy Awards


Ottawa, ON – The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) last night honoured seven partnerships involving companies and university researchers with the NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation.

“NSERC’s strategic investments over the years have led to many successful collaborations, such as those being honoured tonight, and I applaud the winners and encourage others to follow their example,” said Dr Suzanne Fortier president of NSERC. “I am especially pleased to note that the winning partnerships have been strong proponents of student training, resulting in hundreds of graduate students acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for promising careers in academia and industry.”

The university leaders in each of the research collaborations will receive a $25,000 NSERC research grant. The winning partnerships are:

– Luis Seco, of the University of Toronto and Algorithmics, for research to create financial software that identifies and manages the risks involved in complex financial instruments;

– Bruno-Marie Bechard, of the Universite de Sherbrooke, Sipro Lab Telecom and VoiceAge, for the development of algorithms that encode and compress voice and music into digital signals;

– Andre Buret, of the University of Calgary and Elanco Animal Health, for work on antibiotics to treat respiratory infections in cattle;

– Martha Salcudean, of the University of British Columbia, FPInnovations – Paprican, Weyerhaeuser Company and Process Simulations, for analysis of fluid dynamics in boilers at pulp mills that has led to improvements that greatly reduce the energy costs of these operations;

– James Olson, of the University of British Columbia, Advanced Fiber Technologies, BC Hydro Power Smart and Canfor Pulp, for a new energy-saving design for the rotors used to separate impurities from wood pulp;

– Jean-Michel Poutissou, of TRIUMF and D-Pace, for the development of products and services for cyclotrons and other particle accelerators; and

– Richard Tosdal, of the University of British Columbia, Kennecott Canada Exploration, Teck Cominco, and Barrick Gold, for a decades-long collaboration that has made the Canadian mining industry a world leader in minerals exploration.