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RDC Invests $1.7 Million In Academic-Led R&D IN NL

Deepwater seabed surveying, navigation and control systems for field robots, and improving cyber security measures are among the 10 academic-led research and development projects receiving more than $1.7 million in total funding from the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC). This investment leverages more than $10 million from others sources including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Statoil.

“Leading-edge R&D is a key contributor to Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing and robust economy,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. “The combination of our abundance of natural resources, world-class academic institutions and geographic position means this province has a competitive advantage when it comes to advancing research and development that industry needs.”

Researchers from College of the North Atlantic’s Ridge Road campus, Memorial University’s Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Marine Institute and C-CORE are receiving funding.

“Increasing R&D activity in our academic community continues to lead to innovative technological solutions and commercialization opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer, RDC. “Whether it is research focused on ocean engineering, resource exploration and extraction, or advanced manufacturing, our province’s academic institutions and their researchers continue to play a significant role designing and engineering some of the most sophisticated tools and technologies in the world.”

RDC’s funding is provided through a number of academic programs designed to increase R&D capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador, including GeoEXPLORE, IgniteR&D, CollaborativeR&D and LeverageR&D.

“The funding programs offered by RDC are essential to Memorial’s research landscape,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, President and Vice-chancellor, Memorial University of Newfoundland. “RDC investments enable our researchers to carry out projects that advance strategic areas of research, contribute to our understanding of our world and position Memorial as a university of distinction.”

These projects are working towards the reduction of seabed impacts related to bottom trawls, an increased understanding of the behaviour of ice, while working and operating in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, and the transformation of shipping containers into dormitories for use as student housing or as disaster relief shelters.

“It is through the support of our funding partners that we are able to take great strides in developing new systems and technologies,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO of College of the North Atlantic. “The benefits associated with the college’s Dormatecture project could have long lasting effects on the housing and accommodations sector around the world.”

One project funded by RDC aims to enhance the level of detail and accessibility of seabed surveys using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. The project, led by Dr. Andrew Vardy, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science in Memorial’s Faculty of Science, could be used for environmental monitoring and offshore exploration.

“AUVs are most useful in gathering data from inaccessible areas such as underneath the Arctic ice shelf or in very deep water,” said Dr. Vardy. “The support of RDC has been critical to the project and has enabled us to execute the project’s objectives while providing a rich training environment for undergraduate and graduate students.”

An overview of the projects receiving funding from RDC is available online at www.rdc.org.

The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments.