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Newfoundland projects added to $63M funding announcement in Atlantic Canada


St John’s, NL – Seven research projects in Newfoundland chosen for funding under Round V of the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) were announced this morning by the federal government. This is in addition to $1.1 million funding being provided for a research project at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, which was announced last week.

The following projects were awarded the funding in this round:

– Bluedrop Performance Learning (St John’s) Project: Intelligent Enterprise Knowledge Network Bluedrop Performance Learning will develop a new software application for online learning specifically tailored for the manufacturing sector. With total estimated costs of approximately $4.2 million, this project will receive up to $2.5 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over four years.

– Quinlan Brothers (St John’s) Project: Chitin Research Quinlan Brothers will conduct research and development into the processing of chitin and chitosan, which are natural derivatives of shrimp and crab-shell waste. With total estimated costs of approximately $6.5 million, this project will receive up to $2.4 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over three years.

-Marport Deep Sea Technologies (St John’s) Project: Software Defined Acoustics and Development of an Underwater Vehicle Marport Deep Sea Technologies will develop sophisticated sonar devices for use with unmanned underwater vehicles. The project will develop acoustic products to assist underwater ocean observation for energy, defence, mining and ocean science markets. With total estimated costs of approximately $5.3 million, this project will receive up to $2.2 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over two and a half years.

– Cathexis Innovations (St John’s) Project: Radio Frequency Identification Reader Cathexis Innovations, in partnership with Microsoft, will continue the research and development of its IDBlue technology, the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled mobile Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reader. With total estimated costs of approximately $4.6 million, this project will receive up to $2.7 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over three years.

– Memorial University of Newfoundland (St John’s) Project: Vibration-Assisted Rotary Drilling Tool The project will be led by Dr Stephen Butt of Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, who will head a team to develop new drilling processes for the oil industry called Vibration-Assisted Rotary Drilling. The new drilling tool will emphasize smaller diameter holes with vibration assistance to increase the rate of penetration in order to decrease the cost of exploratory drilling. With total estimated costs of approximately $3.4 million, this project will receive up to $1.8 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over five years.

– Memorial University of Newfoundland (St John’s) Project: Population-Based Genetic Research Project This project will be led by Dr Patrick Parfrey, who will head an interdisciplinary team in human genetics to develop a system of research into both inherited and complex genetic diseases in Newfoundland and Labrador. With total estimated costs of approximately $22.6 million, this project will receive up to $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over five years.

– Memorial University of Newfoundland (St John’s) Project: Remote Aerial Vehicle for Environmental Monitoring (RAVEN II) RAVEN is an acronym for the Remote Aerial Vehicle for Environmental Monitoring. Dr Siu O’Young of Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering will lead a team that will continue work with Provincial Aerospace to develop collision avoidance systems for small unmanned aerial vehicles. With total estimated costs of approximately $5 million, this project will receive up to $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over four years.

In addition, today saw the launch of the next round of the Atlantic Innovation Fund with eligible proponents invited to submit letters of intent and project proposals for AIF funding under Round VI. Eligible proponents, which include private sector businesses, universities, colleges and other research organizations, are invited to submit a mandatory letter of intent by March 4, and a complete project proposal by April 29. More information is available on Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s website at www.acoa.ca.

And, last week, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper received funding of $1.1 million to help it work with industry and academic partners to develop and use new technologies to measure the wood and fibre quality of the province’s forests. The researchers will also develop a database of the information gathered, to be incorporated into the province’s digital forest inventory system.

“This project represents a very important piece of research and development for our company and the forest industry in general. We seem to know much more about paper-making machinery and processes than we do about our actual fibre resources,” said Patrick Corriveau, vice president and general manager of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. “With huge advances in new technology, this research project will allow us, over the next three years, to better understand and manage our fibre supply. We see this project as an extremely important step in allowing us to become more cost competitive and efficient. It will also be very important to improving the quality of our newsprint sheet. Along with our partners, we are quite anxious to get things started.”

The project, with total costs of $2.7 million, will receive up to $1.1 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund over a three-year period. Other partners in the project include FPInnovations (Paprican Division), the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Natural Resources. The University of New Brunswick’s Dr Jack McKenzie Limerick Pulp and Paper Centre will also provide technical expertise.