WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 16, 2015) - Industry Canada

Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener- Waterloo, accompanied by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was at the University of Waterloo today to celebrate an investment of nearly $521,000 for a research project to support 5G networks.

This funding, through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) Strategic Project Grants program, will support Dr. Amir Khandani's work to develop the infrastructure required to bear the strain of 5G networks, which will bring high-speed mobile Internet to everything: homes, cars, hospitals and utilities.

Mr. Braid and Minister of State Holder took the opportunity to tour Dr. Khandani's laboratory, which received administrative funding through the Research Support Fund. Dr. Khandani provided a first-hand demonstration of specialized equipment that can greatly enhance 5G networks' ability to sustain the enormous growth in wireless usage predicted in the coming years. With 50 billion smart devices estimated to be online by 2020, Dr. Khandani is working on new techniques to double the rate of information exchanged over the same bandwidth, in addition to enhancing wireless security.

The federal Research Support Fund helps universities with the overhead or additional costs of research that fall outside direct investments in post-secondary research. In 2014-15, the University of Waterloo will receive an investment of $9.6 million through the Research Support Fund. Since 2006, the government has provided nearly $79 million in research support to the University of Waterloo.

Quick facts

  • The University of Waterloo received a total of $5.3 million through the NSERC Strategic Project Grants program to support 11 researchers, including Dr. Khandani.

  • NSERC Strategic Project Grants aim to increase research and training in four target areas that could strongly influence Canada's economy, society or environment in the next 10 years: environmental science and technologies, information and communications technologies, manufacturing, and natural resources and energy.

  • The Research Support Fund helps cover some of the costs associated with managing the research funded by NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, such as salaries for staff who provide administrative support, training costs for workplace health and safety, maintenance of libraries and laboratories, and administrative costs associated with obtaining patents for inventions.

  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

  • NSERC Strategic Project Grants and the Research Support Fund correspond to all three pillars of the renewed science, technology and innovation strategy-knowledge, people and innovation-by developing highly skilled people, building research knowledge and sharing this expertise with business to improve processes and technologies.


"The University of Waterloo is at the forefront of so many innovations. Our government is proud to support research that will strengthen 5G networks, which will support the smart technologies of the future and improve the lives of Canadians."

- Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener- Waterloo

"Through our government's updated science, technology and innovation strategy, we are making the record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Our government, through the Strategic Project Grants program, is supporting research that will address key industry challenges over the next decade in natural resources and energy, manufacturing, environmental science and technologies, and information and communications technologies."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"The best research brings talented minds together to generate exciting ideas and create the advancements of tomorrow. NSERC is proud to support these strategic projects that extend our knowledge and create new innovations that will define our future."

- Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

"Partnering with industry is a valuable element of research at the University of Waterloo, and the Strategic Project Grants support this kind of collaboration. We appreciate that NSERC and the Government of Canada recognize the benefit of investing in Waterloo research and the impact it will have on innovation and Canadians."

- Dr. D. George Dixon, Vice-President, University Research, University of Waterloo

Associated links

- Recipients of 2014 Strategic Project Grants

- Information on the Research Support Fund

- Strategic Partnership Grants overview

- Science, technology and innovation strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment

- University of Waterloo Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Contact Information:

Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

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

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Media Relations Advisor
Research Support Fund