OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2012) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, today announced Strategic Project Grants to support 70 scientific teams at universities across the country. Through partnerships with industry and government, scientists will work on areas of importance to Canadians-such as the environment, information and communications technologies, manufacturing, and natural resources and energy. Administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), these grants represent an investment of more than $32 million over three years.

"Our government's number one priority is prosperity and that means jobs and economic growth. We know that fostering a strong research environment and supporting partnerships like these are necessary to sustain a modern competitive economy" said Minister Goodyear.

"These partnerships demonstrate how the NSERC community can rise to the challenge and lead projects that directly impact the communities where they live and work," said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "We received a large number of very high-quality submissions, and the peer review committees evaluating them were impressed with the excellence of the research teams, the importance and potential impact of the proposed research, and the strong support from partners."

Strategic Project Grants support early-stage projects and aim to encourage collaboration among academic researchers, industry and government partners. The goal of these grants is to increase research and training in areas that could strongly influence Canada's economy, society or environment in the next 10 years.

Through a Strategic Project Grant, Carleton University recipient Jacques Albert received $599,000 over three years to develop inexpensive, non-intrusive and reliable sensors. The Multimodal Optical Sensor Applications, Interfaces, and Controls (MOSAIC) project partners with the Institut national d'optique, Weatherford Canada Partnership, and Spartan Bioscience Inc. to commercialize these sensors for applications that include detecting melting permafrost under roadbeds in Arctic regions, leading to increased and safer access to the North; and use in portable DNA testing devices to quickly identify genes, including those responsible for strokes or heart attacks, allowing for earlier patient interventions.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.


2011 Strategic Project Grants Program

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC's) Strategic Project Grants (SPG) help address Canada's science and technology priorities. The primary goal of these grants is to increase research and training in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada's economy, society and/or environment in the next 10 years. The grants encourage collaboration among academic researchers and industry and government partners. Projects funded through SPG are in line with the following research target areas:

  1. Environmental science and technologies;
  2. Information and communications technologies;
  3. Manufacturing; and
  4. Natural resources and energy.

Strategic Project Grants also contribute to:

  • generating new knowledge/technology with the strong potential to strengthen Canada's industrial base, generate wealth, create employment and/or influence Canadian public policy;
  • increasing the number of highly qualified personnel in the targeted areas;
  • fostering the increased participation of Canadian-based companies and/or government organizations in academic research; and
  • enabling the transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise to Canadian-based companies that are well positioned to apply the results for economic gain, or to government organizations to strengthen public policy.

The goals of the 70 projects selected in the 2011 SPG competition range from developing enhanced technology for data privacy protection; creating innovative municipal wastewater treatment technologies; advancing personal navigation in challenging global positioning system (GPS) environments; developing inexpensive, high-efficiency solar cells; and examining the impacts of green roofs on storm water management and urban climate. These projects will provide enhanced training environments for highly qualified people, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge from research and development to implementation in local Canadian communities.

For more information, please visit NSERC's Web site (

Contact Information:

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Jay Jacobson
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)