UBC research into green chemistry and microbial bioremediation are among five UBC projects receiving funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Strategic Partnership Grants program.
“When researchers, businesses and governments work together, they can turn their discoveries into the innovations that will improve the lives of all Canadians,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, in making the announcement today. “That's why our government is investing in the partnerships that will bring our best and brightest together.”
UBC Science researchers received $1.2 in funding through the partnership program, which focuses on collaborations between academia, businesses, government and other organizations.
UBC chemist Curtis Berlinguette received $600,000 to investigate the electrolytic conversion of waste CO 2 into carbon-based fuels and chemicals. Berlinguette’s team combines the insights the lab gains on CO 2 reduction with the development of efficient electrolyzers that can be commercially deployed to disrupt the economics of clean energy technologies.
Microbiologist Steven Hallam is leading a collaboration to restructure cyanobacterial metabolism to produce high-value compounds.
Hallam and industry partners are developing a modular bio-refining ecosystem that harnesses light energy and microbial communities to turn waste products, in this case oil sands tailings, into bio-refining ecosystems. By-products of the system include useful compounds like fuels, cleaner water and oxygen--all produced with limited greenhouse gas production.
“Congratulations to all recipients and their partner organizations,” said Marc Fortin, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President, Research Partnerships with NSERC. “NSERC is committed to supporting research collaborations that will generate new knowledge and new scientific evidence to address economic, social or environmental challenges. This investment in outstanding research and bold ideas will have a positive impact on Canada and Canadians.”
In total, five UBC projects received $2.8 million in funding across the faculties of Applied Science and Forestry. A total investment of $44m was announced nationally for 75 projects.