Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

March 16, 2011 14:30 ET

Government of Canada Invests $6,753,156 in Funding to Support Growth of Marine Science and Technology

RIMOUSKI, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, announces the awarding of contributions totalling $6,753,156 in non-repayable funding to the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) and its Institut des sciences de la mer (ISMER) as well as to the Centre interdisciplinaire de développement de cartographie des océans (CIDCO - Interdisciplinary Centre for the Development of Ocean Mapping).

"The marine science and technology sector is recognized as a promising niche for Bas-Saint-Laurent's economic development. With this funding, the Government of Canada aims to increase technology transfers from research centres to businesses, thereby promoting innovation in SMEs," explained Minister of State Lebel.

A financial contribution of $5,874,386 will enable UQAR and its branch, ISMER, to acquire specialized equipment that will expand their research capabilities. The new equipment will also enhance the collaborative laboratory services of the recently built UQAR campus Centre d'appui à l'innovation par la recherche (CAIR), a centre dedicated to innovation support through research, and of the Coriolis II research vessel, making it one of the best equipped ocean-going ships in North America. With these additions, UQAR and ISMER will be able to increase applied research activities in fields of key interest to several regional industry sectors. 

The Interdisciplinary Centre for the Development of Ocean Mapping (CIDCO), which specializes in marine geomatics and ocean mapping, will receive $878,770 in funding, including $600,000 to support the organization's operations until March 31, 2014. During this period, CIDCO plans to develop, in collaboration with the private sector, service offerings with real market potential. Targeted areas include coastal erosion modelling, sub-aquatic structure inspection, ocean-floor and habitat classification, subsea natural resources detection and evaluation, and bathymetric data collection in rivers and lakes and in very shallow areas. CIDCO will also receive an amount of $218,770 to expand its service offering by acquiring technological equipment for the inspection of port and marine facilities.

These contributions bring to $13,236,811 the investments awarded to UQAR-ISMER and to $1,785,849 the investments allocated to CIDCO since 2006 by the Government of Canada in support of the marine science and technology sector.

The equipment acquired as part of these projects will help increase research and development capacity while creating an innovation support structure. The financial support from Canada Economic Development has been awarded under the Business and Regional Growth program, which aims to improve the competitiveness of SMEs through innovation and the adoption of state-of-the-art technology.

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