Three research projects at the University of New Brunswick have received funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in the latest competitive round of the Atlantic Innovation Fund.
Dr. Yun Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing in UNB’s geodesy and geomatics engineering department, received more than $1.9 million from ACOA.
He and his team will use the funding to further develop and commercialize a digital image software technology with three times more colour sensitivity than other colour sensors available on the market today. Examples of where this technology may be used include: cellphone cameras, WebCams, digitial cameras, and security cameras.
Dr. Felipe Chibante, associate professor in UNB’s department of chemical engineering, and his team at the Applied Nanotechnology Lab received nearly $1.5 million to lower the cost of fullerenes, which is the molecular form of pure carbon and is a critical ingredient for the plastic solar cell market.
Dr. Chibante and the collaborators on the project have developed fundamental synthesis methods that will be integrated in a unique plasma reactor to result in a price reduction of 50-75 per cent.
UNB computer science professor Dr. Weichang Du and his research team, in partnership with the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, received more than $1.4 million to create novel tools and processes to address current limitations in business process management and science oriented architecture.
The tools and processes will be imbedded in, or compatible with, existing IBM tools and will result in enhanced internal and client interaction, decreased response times, increased organizational efficiencies and reduced costs.
The $4.8 million awarded to the three UNB projects was announced as part of the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan. The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for ACOA and La Francophonie, and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, made the announcement at UNB’s Wu Conference Centre.
“Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Valcourt. “Our Government recognizes that innovation, research and development are crucial to a competitive economy and to creating high-quality jobs. These projects we are announcing will help bring new knowledge, new jobs and new business opportunities to all of Atlantic Canada.”
The $4.8 million investment was part of a larger announcement of close to $49 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund for 21 research and development projects throughout Atlantic Canada.
“The variety of projects being funded in Fredericton speaks to the diversity of talent and expertise living and working in our province,” said Minister Ashfield.
“From improved business process management tools to digital image technology that will offer three times the coloured sensitivity currently on the market today, our private and public sector research community is creating game-changing technologies that will benefit the Canadian economy.”
The Atlantic Innovation Fund encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop new or improved products and services. Hundreds of technologies, products, processes and services developed with the support of the AIF were successfully commercialized, resulting in millions of dollars in incremental sales
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