Three McMaster research projects have received a combined investment of $1.68M over three years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).
The largest grant went to Yingfu Li, professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, who received $672,000 to develop a novel litmus paper-like sensor device, printed with bioink, to enable rapid and accurate detection of Legionella pneumophila – a deadly environmental pathogen found in many man-made and natural water sources.
In collaboration with Carlos Filipe (chemical engineering) and John Brennan (chemistry & chemical biology), and industry partners TGWT Clean Technologies Inc., Cytodiagnostics, and Mold and Bacterial Consulting Labs, their DNA print technology, capable of providing results in minutes, will position Canada as a leader in this field.
The funding, announced this week by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan as part of NSERC's Strategic Partnerships Grants program.
The program brings together academic and industry partners to develop innovative solutions to address some of Canada's biggest challenges, design new technologies and applications, increase training and create jobs.
In addition, Andy Knights, professor of engineering physics, received $524,500 for his work on amplified silicon photonics (SiP). At its most fundamental level, SiP replaces electronic with optical quanta to increase performance gains in bandwidth, cost and scalability, and has the potential to revolutionize data transfer at all distances.
Rong Zheng, associate professor, computing and software, was awarded $481,700 to further her work on mobile crowdsensing. She is developing StareCrowd – a novel crowdsensing paradigm to facilitate sharing and aggregation of sensing and user-contributed data programmatically – with colleagues at the DeGroote School of Business, the University of Victoria and industry partners.
Rob Baker, McMaster's vice-president of research, said the Strategic Partnerships Grants speak to the critical role universities play in strengthening the country's knowledge base and keeping Canada competitive. "I salute our researchers and their industry partners for their collective and innovative approach to tackling R&D issues, as well as NSERC for creating funding opportunities that ensure our work is relevant, timely and best serves Canadians."