The Grapevine - News about people, institutions and communities in the innovation ecosystem

Mark Lowey
October 11, 2023

Murray Thomson (photo at right) a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Toronto, is one of four international researchers leading the university’s new Global Hydrogen Production Technologies Centre. The centre will advance net-zero hydrogen production technologies with the goal of making them more energy-efficient and affordable by reaching US$1 per kilogram of hydrogen produced. Researchers will also explore the social and environmental changes needed to build a global hydrogen economy. The project's Canadian component will receive $3.6 million over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support student training and mobility. U of T

 Jordan Eleniak, a Métis and second-year engineering student at the University of Alberta, has developed a device that provides early-warning detection of toxins-producing blue-green algae blooms, which are becoming increasingly common on Alberta lakes. During the I-STEAM Pathways internship program, Eleniak developed a microbial fuel cell that quickly recognizes voltage fluctuations caused by the toxins, sending data to biologists over the internet. The technology is cheap and easy to produce, with materials fabricated by a 3D printer. I-STEAM Pathways is a cross-disciplinary program enabling First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to engage in hands-on research in a variety of environmental fields including science, environmental engineering, environmental law and policy. UAlberta

Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo (photo at right) is the recipient of Research In Canada’s 2023 Individual Leadership in Advocacy Award. Campbell-Yeo is a certified neonatal nurse practitioner, a professor of nursing and pediatrics, psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University, and a clinician scientist at the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia. Research Canada’s 2023 Organization Leadership in Advocacy Award went to the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, a charitable, non-profit organization at the University of Waterloo that enhances the quality of life and care for older adults through research, education and practice. Research Canada

A multidisciplinary study between the University of British Columbia’s school of nursing and the University of Alberta Health Law Institute found that people who use alternative healthcare therapies tend to be wealthier, like novelty and taking risks, and are more likely to distrust conventional medicine. The study involved a survey of 1,492 Canadians ages 16 and over and is the first to explore risk-associated alternative health care use in Canada. More than 40 per cent of Canadians have used at least one risk-associated alternative health-care treatment in the past 12 months, according to the study. Physical manipulative therapies such as cervical chiropractic manipulation, and potentially toxic herbal and nutritional supplement use, were the most common. UBC

The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) unveiled new interactive online platform aimed at raising awareness about cybersecurity. UQÀM teachers employees, and students can use the interactive platform to engage in short courses providing information on how to become a smart user in today’s digital world, including by learning how to identify cybersecurity threats, traps, and best practices. UQÀM

Simon Fraser University Image Tech Lab acquired new technology to help advance brain research and improve knowledge of brain disease and injury. The newly installed TRIUX™ neo, from Finland-based neuroscience technology company MEGIN, provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology, enabling them to do adult and pediatric scans with advanced capabilities. The new MEG is also being used with the lab’s high field 3T whole body MRI, which together provide easy access to multi-modal imaging. The lab is the first-of-its-kind in western Canada to house both technologies. SFU

The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine is creating a Department of Indigenous Health and Wellness, which it says will be the first of its kind in Canada. The new Indigenous-led department will provide a welcoming space for Indigenous health researchers, learners and faculty, to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and systems into medical education and scholarship, mentorship, and networking. USask

The University of Calgary celebrated the 10th year in space for its CASSIOPE (Cascade, Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer) satellite. The original plan for the mission was for the CASSIOPE satellite to orbit for 18 months. Despite several of the instruments degrading over the years, scientists found a way to repurpose the satellite so it collects data on low-Earth orbit space debris – information wanted by companies and organizations around the world. UCalgary

Dalhousie University established a new University Research Chair program to attract top talent. Designed to allow faculties to make globally competitive offers, the program launched with four new chairs in the Faculties of Health, Medicine, Computer Science and Agriculture. The program, which includes substantial support from the faculties, comprises two categories: emerging scholars and established scholars. Dalhousie University

The hamlet of Sanikiluaq in Nunavut will get a one-megawatt wind generation demonstration project coupled with 800 kilowatts of battery energy storage. The facility, Nunavut’s first community-led, Inuit-owned renewable energy project, will produce more than four gigawatt-hours per year of clean electricity. It is expected to offset more than 50 per cent of the community’s diesel fuel usage for electricity. The Qikiqtaaluk Business Development Corporation (QBDC) received $6.5M from Natural Resources Canada to support the project. QBDC


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