The Short Report – May 29, 2019: CRCC progress report, poultry research, bio-refinery

Debbie Lawes
May 29, 2019

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee has released its first progress report, highlighting accomplishments to date on five priority areas: interdisciplinary, international, high-risk/high-rewards, rapid response research; key emerging research areas; equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI); Indigenous research; and, the needs of early career researchers (ECR). Activities over the coming year include: calls for applications under the New Frontiers in Research Fund; implementation of tri-agency EDI and ECR action plans; co-development of new models to support Indigenous research and training. – SSHRC

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency want to see SSH research play a bigger role in informing best practices related to environmental and impact assessments for major natural resource-sector and infrastructure projects such as mines and pipelines. Up to 13 Knowledge Synthesis Grants worth up to $30,000 will be awarded to identify the current state of knowledge and gaps. - SSHRC

The Saskatchewan government is renewing its support to the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation with $11.6 million over five years, bringing the province’s total funding for the centre to $45.4 million since 2012. The centre funds research in nuclear medicine, materials science, nuclear energy systems, and environmental and social topics related to nuclear technology. USask

The federal government is investing up to $8.24 million to the Canadian Poultry Research Council under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Program Clusters program. The funding, in addition to $3.78 million from industry, is expected to result in the development of alternatives to antibiotics through research on antimicrobial use and resistance, as well as healthier and safer products by the poultry food chain. - GoC

The Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program is providing $2 million to FPInnovations for a thermomechanical pulp bio-refinery that opened this month in Thunder Bay, ON in partnership with Resolute Forest Products Inc. With the capacity to treat 100 metric tons of biomass annually, the $23-million pilot plant will use FPInnovation’s patented TMP-Bio technology to convert wood sugars to biomaterials, such as wood adhesives, animal feed and composites. - FPInnovations, Newswire

The Office of the Chief Science Advisor is seeking candidates for a potential Chief Science Advisor’s Youth Council (CSA-YC), open to youth between the ages of 18 and 30 interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and their societal dimensions. The council’s mandate is to provide a youth perspective, identify and inform key issues and challenges facing the Canadian science community, and advise on and take part in outreach activities of the Office of the Chief Science Advisor. - Application

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is creating an external Advisory Committee on Aquaculture Science, in response to the 2018 Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science led by Canada's Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer. The five-member committee will be comprised of one Canadian scientist, two international scientists, one Indigenous Canadian representative, and one member at large. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is now accepting nominations and expressions of interest for these positions. - GoC

Natural Products Canada, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, has signed a memorandum of understanding with New Frontiers in Food, a cluster of food-focused companies and organizations in Europe that is fast-tracking the development of innovative food technologies. Canada is one of several countries in the cluster, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain - NPC

The Canadian Defence and Security Network officially launched on May 24 to create stronger linkages between academic scholars and defence scientists. Led by Dr. Stephen Saideman at Carleton University, the centre will focus on five research themes – defence procurement, military personnel, operations, security, and civil-military relations – and each theme will have a joint academic/government/civil society/defence team associated with it. - CDSN; Backgrounder

Dr. Dean Regier, a scientist at BC Cancer has received $500,000 from Genome BC’s Genesolve program and Illumina Inc., San Diego CA, to generate evidence for using whole exome and whole genome sequencing to diagnose and guide treatment for the two million Canadian children with rare diseases. The two-year project, which includes collaborators from the University of Oxford, the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, will draw upon health care data from BC as well as the 100,000 Genomes Project in the UK. - Newswire

Toronto-based Electrovaya Inc., which received $3.8 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada last November, has received its first purchase order for an electric bus battery system shown to power a bus for more than 200 kilometres. The name of the customer was not revealed. - Electrovaya

Cape Breton University plans to open the island’s first innovation space by September to provide training and support to new and existing entrepreneurs. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre will be one of several innovation spaces to open across the island as part of the Creative Island Network, led by the Cape Breton Partnership. - CBU

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has announced the recipients of the 2018 CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes: CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery - Dr. Tak Wah Mak, University Health Network; CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Impact - Dr. Deborah Cook, McMaster University; CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Outstanding Achievements by an Early Career Investigator - Dr. Tracie Afifi, University of Manitoba; and the CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Transformation: Patient Engagement - Dr. Erin Michalak, University of British Columbia. - GoC

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has appointed an expert panel to review the Labour Market Transition of PhD Graduates. The review, initiated at the request of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will examine the main challenges PhD students in Canada face in transitioning to the labour market, and how these differ by field of study. The panel members are: Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, president, University of Calgary (chair); Dr. Marcelline Bangali, associate professor, Department of Foundations and Practices in Education, Université Laval; Dr. Dwayne Benjamin, vice dean, Graduate Education, University of Toronto; Dr. John (Jay) Doering, associate VP (Partnerships), University of Manitoba; Dr. Bryan Gopaul, assistant professor, Warner School of Education and Human Development, University of Rochester; Diane Gray, president/CEO, CentrePort Canada and chair, Mitacs; Dr. Tina Gruosso, scientist, Translational Research, Forbius; Dr. Jennifer Polk, co-founder, Beyond the Professoriate; Dr. Susan Porter, president, Canadian Association of Graduate Studies; Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier, director for Professional Development and Alumni Engagement, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto; Dr. David Walters, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph; and Dr. Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Department of English, McGill University. More information about this project can be found here.

University of Alberta chemist and associate dean of science Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour died May 25 at the age of 79. Armour was a tireless advocate for female scientists, having co-founded the Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology program and the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology. - UAlberta

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