Almost $10 million in new research infrastructure funding announced today will enable UBC physicists and chemists to explore the potential of emerging quantum materials and search for remnants of the Big Bang.
Four UBC Science-led projects are among 15 funded at UBC by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The national investment was announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science on Thursday--more than $554 million in 117 new projects across Canada. In total, UBC saw $52 in new research infrastructure funding.
“The Innovation Fund encourages institutions and its researchers to think big and strive to be global leaders by conducting world-class research,” said Duncan in making the announcement.
“This funding pushes researchers to aim higher in their pursuits by collaborating across disciplines, institutions and sectors. With this support, institutions can build on their current research strengths and set their sights on accelerating research that will create social, health, environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”
UBC physicists George Sawatzky and Sarah Burke will receive funding to develop a quantum materials electron microscopy centre and a four-probe scanning probe microscope, respectively. The new equipment will enable the researchers to probe the mysteries of quantum materials, which have the potential to transform information processing, nanoelectronics, medicine, and energy production. Both projects, worth a combined $6.1 million, are housed at UBC’s Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute.
Takamasa Momose’s project--chirality research on origins and separation—will receive $2.1 million funding to explore the characteristics of extremely cold molecules and atoms. Researchers believe that ultracold molecules will offer access to completely new possibilities, beyond those offered by cold atoms, to study a wide range of fundamental and practical questions in physics and chemistry.
UBC cosmologist Gary Hinshaw will receive funding in support of the UBC-led Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). CHIME is Canada’s newest radio astronomy telescope, and is conducting the largest volume survey of the universe ever undertaken.
GIRMOS, led by the University of Toronto and involving UBC collaborator Paul Hickson, received more than $5 million in funding, a record for an astronomy project. GIRMOS is a multi-object infrared spectrometer able to measure spectra for many distant galaxies simultaneously. UBC will be participating in all phases of the definition, design, testing and operation of the instrument, and will provide the acquisition and calibration system.
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For more than 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.