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NSRIT Supports Three University Research Projects

The Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) is helping a Saint Mary’s University professor to improve the way gold exploration is carried out in Nova Scotia.

With a growing number of companies showing interest in the province’s historic mining districts, geology professor Dr. Jacob Hanley believes new exploration models using microscope-based instrumentation can help pinpoint ore deposits more accurately.

“We can assess mineral resource potential within hidden terrain that can change the approach to routine exploration,” said Dr. Hanley.

The Government of Nova Scotia is supporting the change in exploration model by providing $95,600 through the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust toward a $239,000 laser Raman microscope. Additional funding is being provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and private sector partners.

“Academic research is fundamental in moving our province forward through innovation and improving the way we do business,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “Supporting these projects allows trailblazing research to happen here at home and create a strong, vibrant economy.”

The equipment analyzes geological material trapped within rock samples to reveal the chemical and physical processes that concentrate gold and hydrocarbons in the Earth’s crust.

The technology will also take some of the guesswork out of drilling for offshore oil and gas.
The Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust will also provide matching infrastructure funding for two additional projects.

Dr. Aldona Wiacek, a Saint Mary’s researcher specializing in the study of atmospheric pollutants, will receive $118,623 toward the purchase of a ground-based, remote sensing instrument that tracks harmful chemicals pumped into the atmosphere by factories, trains, planes, automobiles and natural processes.
Information gathered by the $300,000 piece of equipment will be used to improve the understanding and reporting of air quality in Nova Scotia. More than 20 students and researchers will be trained on the equipment over the next five years, providing vital experience to make them innovative, globally competitive key players in the economy of the future.

At Dalhousie University a $125,000 NSRIT contribution toward a $314,000 project will help Dr. Natalie Rosen purchase equipment supporting new research and treatment options at the new Couples and Sexual Health laboratory.

The first of its kind east of Montreal, the facility will provide a rich training resource for student researchers in psychology, gynaecology, obstetrics, nursing and anesthesia.

Dr. Rosen’s initial work will focus on treatments for a chronic pain condition during sex that affects 16 per cent of all women. It extends Dalhousie’s international initiatives studying the efficient and effective treatment of pain.

“Our talented researchers require leading-edge equipment and infrastructure to uncover the innovative solutions to our pressing environmental, health and social challenges,” said Lois Levine, Executive Director of NSRIT. “The province of

Nova Scotia, through NSRIT, supports transformative research that helps stimulate advances that support economic growth, thriving communities, and the well-being of all Nova Scotians.”

The Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust matches funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. In the last 13 years, the Trust has supported more than 390 projects and attracted more than $100 million in additional investments to Nova Scotia research.