Sarnia, ON, June 22, 2012 — Lambton College has received one of the 14 first ever NSERC Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges in Canada. The NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges grants are based on partnerships with businesses to conduct research projects in areas such as information and communications technologies, environmental technologies, natural resources and energy. The announcement came today from the Lambton College Applied Research and Innovation (LCARI) office in the Lambton College Industry Innovation Centre located in the Suncor Sustainability Centre. Lambton College was pledged nearly $200,000 of NSERC funding per year for five years bringing the total public funding to just under $1,000,000. The NSERC funding is matched by cash and in-kind contributions from current and future industrial partners.
Congratulations to Dr. Mehdi Sheikhzadeh as the first NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) at Lambton College. Dr. Sheikhzadeh will be the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Advanced Industrial Process Optimization and Control. The Chair’s role includes supporting the development of longer term business-focussed applied research programs at Lambton College. Dr. Sheikhzadeh will focus on collaborating with local and regional industrial partners with his expertise in industrial process optimization as well as automation, advanced process control and modeling. He will lead these projects in collaboration with various regional companies, including but not limited to; GreenField Ethanol Inc., TEAM Aquatic Management Inc. and CENNATEK Bioanalytical Services Inc. These partnering companies pledged cash and in-kind support.
“The prosperity of our nation and our community depends on our ability to turn innovation into high-quality jobs and economic growth,” said Pat Davidson, MP for Sarnia-Lambton. “The College and Community Innovation Program lends itself to this effort through research collaborations between companies and colleges. It illustrates the importance our government places on creating the conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in this country. Best of all, Lambton College’s successful application for the research chair position speaks to their placement of innovation at the apex of their strategic development efforts. I am extremely impressed by the on-going leadership being shown on a daily basis at Lambton College by the Administration, Faculty and, of course, the Student Body, and I wish Lambton College luck with their continued successes.”
“Lambton’s commitment to R&D and a sustainable future is reflected in our operational activities as well as in our collaborative partnerships,” said Judith Morris, President and CEO, Lambton College. “As part of our focus on academic excellence, applied research has become a key priority. Our objectives are to encourage selected applied research activities that add value for our students, faculty and community and that support of our program offerings.”
Dr. Sheikhzadeh will hold the ‘Industrial Research Chair for Colleges’ for five years, with the possibility of renewal.
NSERC IRCC Grants support applied research leaders and the development of business-focused applied research programs at colleges. The grants will help colleges to develop new, or significantly enhance, existing applied research efforts in areas that meet local or regional socio-economic needs. IRCC Grants will range from $100,000 to $200,000 annually and will be offered in five-year terms.
The original announcement came on March 8, 2012 and included a total of 60 innovative partnerships between colleges and businesses that will be provided more than $36 million over a period of up to five years through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. This announcement follows other CCI investments announced in 2009, 2010 and 2011; bringing total program investments to date to over $160 million for 248 projects at 62 colleges and cégeps.
The CCI Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
"These investments provide colleges with access to the people, resources and tools they need to be at the forefront of innovation," said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "The ultimate goal is to create sustainable partnerships that will help sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on the bottom line of our country and industry."
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 postsecondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.