Queen’s research projects get almost $10 million in federal funding

Some projects focus on strengthening infrastructure against climate crisis

The government pledged a total of $518 million in funding.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Two projects led by Queen’s researchers received almost $10 million in funding to advance their work.

The funding was shared during an announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledging $518 million in research support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Innovation Fund.

According to a press release from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS), the CFI’s Innovation Fund 2020 competition was designed to provide strategic investments in research infrastructure, from supporting fundamental research to technology development. 

With a look toward a post-pandemic future, the federal government is using the CFI to focus on supporting research that has the potential to build a healthier, greener, and more economically robust society while pursuing exploration and discovery.

“This support will allow Queen’s to build on exceptional international strengths and have a direct impact on how we live and understand the world around us,” said Kimberly Woodhouse, vice-principal (research), in the statement.

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The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) and Queen’s researcher Annette Hay and Jonathan Bramson of McMaster received more than $5 million from the CFI to develop a national cellular therapy translational research platform—one of the two CFI-funded projects through the University. 

Expanding CELL-based Immunotherapy Research Acceleration for Translation and Evaluation (ExCELLirate) aims to develop cell therapies as safe and viable treatment options through identifying biological mechanisms affecting safety and designing cost-effective methods for the harvest, expansion, manipulation, purification, and delivery 
of the cells.

Andy Take (Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical Engineering) and Ian Moore (Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Engineering) are the Queen’s civil engineering researchers leading the second CFI funded research project. 

Their project addresses the impacts of the climate crisis and aims to improve the resiliency of Canada’s civil engineering infrastructure.

Called the Climate Adaptive infraStructure Testing and Longevity Evaluation (CASTLE) Innovation Cluster, the project is a collaboration between Queen’s and the Royal Military College of Canada.

The project received close to $4.5 million in funding from CFI, according to the press release, and has the objective of improving storage of mine waste, ensure safety, and improve resilience of transportation infrastructure. 

This infrastructure provides support to roads, railways, pipes, and coastal defense structures, as well as ports and harbours, against the direct and triggered geotechnical hazards of the climate crisis.

Canada’s landmass spans diverse geographic regions, resulting in a need for resiliency in current and future infrastructure against the unique impacts of the climate crisis, according to the press release, affecting remote northern regions to southern urban centres.

Queen’s is also a collaborator on a third project led by Carleton University, receiving funding to develop a liquid dark matter detector and an underground argon storage facility. 

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