Charpentier, Robinson earn Strategic Project Grants

Western researchers Paul Charpentier and Clare Robinson have been named among 83 scientific teams at universities across the country receiving Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Strategic Project Grants.

Of the 83 funded projects, 81 are receiving more than $36 million over three years to support early-stage work and 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 in four target areas: environmental science and technologies; information and communications technologies; manufacturing; and natural resources and energy.

Charpentier, a Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor, will receive $503,700 over three years for his project, Multi-layer solar harvesting nanofilms by roll-to-roll fabrication; Robinson, a Civil and Environmental Engineering professor, will receive $504,000 over three years for her project, Quantification of groundwater contribution to fecal and nutrient pollution at beaches of the Great Lakes.

“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), at Friday’s announcement held at McGill University. “Fostering a strong research environment and supporting partnerships are fundamental building blocks for a modern competitive economy. This funding will allow companies to increase their research and development activities in Canada by maximizing the expertise and knowledge of our researchers.”

In addition, McGill University and University of Toronto will share $9.4 million over five years for two Strategic Network Grants. These grants are for large-scale, multidisciplinary research projects in targeted areas that require collaboration between academic researchers and Canadian-based organizations and companies to address problems that will affect the industry over the next 10 years. This year, the networks funded will focus on research into aquatic ecosystems, and on outdoor field robotics.