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New research chair created for fuel cell research has $1M funding


Trois-Rivieres, QC April 22, 2003 Research into fuel cells received a boost today with the announcement of a new NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Hydrogen Storage, which will provide C$1 million in funding over five years.

The announcement was made today by Stphane Dion, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The Government of Canada’s partners in this initiative are Hydrogenics Corporation and Stuart Energy Systems Corporation, who will jointly contribute $450,000 over five years.

The new chairholder, Professor Richard Chahine, and his research team will concentrate their efforts on developing reliable technologies for storing and transporting hydrogen, a gas that promises to be the energy source of the future and an ecological substitute for fossil fuels. This gas is currently the subject of intensive research at the Universit du Qubec Trois- Rivires’ Institut de recherche sur l’hydrogne (IRH).

The goal of this project is to reduce substantially the size and weight of hydrogen storage systems in fuel cells. The work will be conducted in collaboration with industrial partners who can validate and transfer the technologies developed. The nine-member research team comprises research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and a technician.

“Fuel cells will support the transition to a sustainable and ecological energy system," says Professor Chachine. "To achieve this transition, however, it will be important to develop innovative technologies for storing hydrogen, which is the best fuel to power these cells."

“The global market for fuel cells should reach $45 billion by 2011,” says Minister Dion. "Most Canadian companies working to develop this technology are small companies with limited financial resources and personnel with expertise in hydrogen storage. This C
hair will therefore be of great benefit to companies and will help them develop and market their products in Canada.

"The proposed research is very relevant and will have a positive impact on the Canadian economy, with the Chair’s research findings allowing Canada to become a world leader in the fuel cell field,” he adds.