Recent government investments in UNB research

Producing more than 70% of New Brunswick’s publicly funded research, UNB is the research and development engine for the province. I’m proud of the incredible research accomplishments I’ve witnessed since coming back to UNB this summer, and I look forward to working with faculties, government and our industry partners to grow our capacity in the future. Here are some of the funding announcements that have been made in the past few months:

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) invested more than $7 million in funding to expand UNB’s smart grid research initiatives. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, made the announcement at UNB Fredericton on August 27. The majority of the funding has gone towards UNB’s Atlantic Digital Grid project, which will result in a number of new tools and technologies for energy distribution, analysis, threat detection, infrastructure, and business modeling.

On August 12, two researchers at UNB received $200,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). Dr. Martin Sénéchal, an associate professor in kinesiology, is leading a research group to improve understanding of how exercise can be used to prevent and treat obesity and diabetes. Dr. Yang Qu, an assistant professor in chemistry and chemical engineering and UNB’s Cannabis Health Research Chair, is exploring new opportunities in advancing the Canadian cannabis industry.

On July 31, UNB hosted the Environmental Trust Fund, where the province announced an investment of $2.5 million into more than 60 projects focusing on climate change in New Brunswick. As a result of this financial assistance, UNB was one of the first Atlantic institutions to implement a Climate Change Action Plan. The UNB Sustainability Committee undertook a five-year project to reduce our carbon emissions and to prepare and adapt to future climate related events.

The Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre received more than $74,000 from the federal Aboriginal Languages Initiative for its Wolastoqey Latuwewaken Revival program. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced the funding at UNB’s Fredericton campus on July 24.

This summer, UNB Saint John nursing and health sciences professor, Dr. Rose McCloskey, received $800,000 in funding from the Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation/Baycrest and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation. Her work will examine the impact of three different technological devices to improve the lives of seniors.

A group of 33 researchers and graduate students at UNB have been granted funding in support of social sciences and humanities investigations. On July 17, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, made the announcement at UNB Fredericton. As part of this announcement, Dr. David Busolo, an early career researcher in UNB’s faculty of nursing, received more than $60,000 for his research to better understand the needs and priorities of immigrant and refugee families new to Canada.

A UNB research lab received federal funding in July for a study into the impact of spruce budworm outbreaks on the environment and climate change. Dr. Stephen Heard, a professor of biology at UNB Fredericton, and his research lab have received more than $400,000 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada initiative. The funding was announced on July 11.