Grande Prairie Regional College is among the eleven colleges which will receive Federal funding from Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to work with their communities and local businesses to get new innovations from campuses into the marketplace. The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced a total of nearly $15 Million to develop a number of diverse, environmentally-friendly technologies, and strengthen industry, community and academic relationships. Grande Prairie Regional College has been awarded $2,300,000 for an environmental research initiative led by instructor and researcher Dr. Weixing Tan, which will be conducted through the Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) at the College.
This initiative, entitled Pollutants to Products (P2P), is among those selected for funding following a nation-wide peer-reviewed competition. The College, and its industry partners and stakeholders, have dedicated the last decade and $1.5 million developing sustainable local solutions to environmental issues. One project studies carbon and pollutants capture by microalgae; another investigates enhancement of reforestation and carbon sequestration; and the other diverts wastewater from waterways to a poplar industrial fibre production. Each project contributes to a reduction of the region's wastes and harnesses natural processes to turn atmospheric pollutants to useful products.
"Grande Prairie Regional College is very proud to be among the colleges selected for this funding," says Susan Bansgrove, Vice-President Academic. "Dr. Tan has long been recognized for his applied research in areas related to sustainable forestry practices and the environment. These projects have been very important for our region, and have also provided enormous opportunities for our students in recent years."
"I am very pleased and honoured to receive this highly-prestigious award," says Tan. "It is the great support and contributions from the College, local industries and communities that makes it a reality. This award provides additional excellent opportunities to involve students and faculty in applied research, which we have been doing for many years. The involvement of students really enhances their learning and provides significant motivation in terms of their study at GPRC."
A news conference will be hosted at GPRC Grande Prairie on November 9th 2010, to provide more in-depth information about the research project and its partners, as well as to celebrate the announcement of the grant.