Alberta, Ontario collaborate to commercialize R&D

Program targets with industry partners priority areas for innovations that pay.

Priorities include advanced manufacturing.  Photo: Thinkstock

Priorities include advanced manufacturing.
Photo: Thinkstock

EDMONTON — Alberta and Ontario are putting up $4 million with another $2 million from industry to develop R&D projects that have commercial legs and strong economic potential.

This initiative, through the Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF) program and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), leverages academic expertise from both provinces to address industrial challenges such as waste management; energy storage; converting CO2 into marketable products; and packaging/adhesive materials for bandages.

Participating companies will apply the R&D results of the research directly or to their supply chains.

Industry-academic projects may also leverage existing Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) programs that fall within its mandate.

The provinces are looking at the following sectors as priorities for research and commercialization:

• Advanced materials and manufacturing

• Energy and environment (including water)

• Nanotechnology

• Agriculture, forestry

• Advanced health technologies

• Life sciences, biotechnology

• Information, communications technologies, digital media

The R&D program is a two-step, competitive process involving the submission of an expression of interest (EOI). Selected EOIs will be invited to submit a full NSERC application. NSERC will leverage industry contributions from both Ontario and Alberta when the researcher is from an academic institution.

Either province will contribute from $50,000 to $250,000, with NSERC possibly matching cash donations from the industry participant in university-led projects. Industry-college projects may access a NSERC grant that matches cash or in-kind contributions from industry.

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