One-third to one-half of the researchers getting grants are working on nanotechnology projects. From a March 1, 2016 University of British Columbia (UBC) news release (received via email),
Research into forest renewal, quantum computer nanotechnology, solar power, high-tech manufacturing, forestry products and the Subarctic ocean climate gained a boost today, with the announcement of $3.5 million in funding for six UBC projects from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
The funding comes from NSERC’s Strategic Partnership Grants, which support scientific partnerships to strengthen the Canadian economy, society and environment.
Konrad Walus, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
A framework for embedding, simulation and design of computational nanotechnology using a quantum annealing processor [emphasis mine] — $394,500
This project will work with Quantum Silicon Inc. [emphasis mine] to conduct experiments that provide better insight into the potential of quantum computing, and will develop design rules for future designers of the technology.
Alireza Nojeh, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Thermionic solar energy converter — $510,500
In close collaboration with four Canadian industrial partners, this project will establish a novel approach to solar electricity generation using recent discoveries in nanostructured materials.
With mention of quantum annealing, I would have expected their industrial partner to be D-Wave Systems, a Vancouver-based company which has gotten a lot of attention for its quantum annealing processor (a Dec. 16, 2015 post titled: Google announces research results after testing 1,097-qubit D-Wave 2X™ quantum computers is one of my most recent pieces about the company). The company mentioned, Quantum Silicon, is based in Alberta.
There is one project where I believe at least some of the work is being done at the nanoscale or less (from the March 1, 2016 news release0,
Harry Brumer, Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC
Biorefining of novel cellulosics from forest fibre resources — $532,812
Working with a Canadian forest products company, this project will use genomic and biochemical methods to develop new technology for wood-fibre modification.
And for the curious, here are the other projects (from the March 1, 2016 news release),
Suzanne Simard, Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences
Designing successful forest renewal practices for our changing climate — $929,000
This project will investigate novel forest renewal methods, and establish recommendations for best harvesting and regeneration practices under changing climate conditions.
Chadwick Sinclair, Professor, Faculty of Applied Science – Materials Engineering
Through-process modeling for optimized electron beam additive manufacturing — $484,400
Working in collaboration with Canadian electron-beam processor PAVAC Industries Inc. [emphasis mine], this project will develop a through-process model for additive manufacturing that will link machine control to material microstructure and properties.
Philippe Tortell, Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Quantifying climate-dependent and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem services in the Subarctic Pacific Ocean; State-of-the-art observational tools to inform policy and management — $707,100
University scientists and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will use field-based observations to generate satellite-based models of ecosystem productivity to examine fish yields and environmental variability.
PAVAC Industries is headquartered in Richmond, BC, Canada,.
Congratulations to the researchers!