INRS has earned top marks again, coming in as the Canadian university with the most projects to receive funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for 2016 under its strategic partnership program. INRS professors received over $5.6 million for eleven projects—11.7% of the total funding awarded to the 94 successful projects. INRS submitted 20 projects in 2016—a record for the institute—achieving a success rate of 55%, its best to date.
Working with Canadian and international partners, the successful professors will use this major funding—delivered over three years—to pursue innovative scientific and engineering research projects in the environment and agriculture, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and communications. With these strategic projects, a great deal of emphasis is placed on transferring technology and training highly qualified personnel. The project outcomes will be of significant benefit to society.
Environment and agriculture
In the context of climate change, Professor Étienne Yergeau
of the INRS–Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre wants to develop innovative strategies based on bacterial ecosystem biodiversity to increase the adaptability of wheat plants to stress conditions like drought.
At the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre, Professor Marc A. Gauthier
’s work could help lower the cost of manufacturing monoclonal antibodies, which are increasingly used in therapeutic applications for treatment delivery, for example, or to inhibit tumour growth. His colleague Tsuneyuki Ozaki
wants to use terahertz spectroscopy to gain a better understanding of the electronic properties of a unique material, graphene, for optoelectronic and photodetection applications.
Professor Luca Razzari
is developing new imagery technology to analyze advanced ceramic materials commonly used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Professor Federico Rosei
is using his expertise in smart materials to develop nanogenerators for wearable technologies. His colleague Lionel Roué
is developing new materials and processes to significantly reduce greenhouse gases emitted by Canadian aluminum smelters.
Professor Shuhui Sun plans to produce a new type of high performance cathode material for lithium ion batteries used to power electric and hybrid vehicles. Professor Dongling Ma’s research could lead to breakthroughs in green energy with the development of plasmonic copper nanostructures that convert solar energy into H2—a clean, emissions-free fuel. To treat wastewater polluted by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Professor Fiorenzo Vetrone is designing a new, more efficient and cost-effective technology that activates the photocatalytic process in the near infrared.
Information and communication technologies
In his lab at the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre, Professor Tayeb Denidni
is testing new agile electronic scanning antennas for use in millimetre wave wireless communications. Finally, to tackle the challenges of big data, Professor François Légaré
is developing a technology platform that uses high-speed magneto-optical systems to store data. ♦