Memorial researchers developing local environmental research partnerships

By Meaghan Whelan | Jan. 24, 2013

There’s a lot of expertise within the walls of a university and a number of Memorial researchers are looking to apply that knowledge to local issues and opportunities. 

At a recent research matching session hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), researchers from the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Marine Institute and Grenfell Campus met with representatives from more than 20 companies and organizations in environmentally focused industries looking to collaborate.

George Rioux, research and development liaison officer in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, attended the session.

“The NEIA matching session was a great opportunity to hear from industry about the challenges they face," he said. "A number of Memorial researchers made connections that will hopefully lead to future collaborations and partnerships."

One of the participating companies, Dynamic Air Shelters, met a number of potential collaborators. The company, which has been operating in Grand Bank since its incorporation in 2004, produces temporary, portable air-inflated shelters with blast resistant properties for the oil and gas industry. The company also manufactures other types of buildings for military and construction applications, first response situations and promotional campaigns.

“We were specifically looking for assistance to resolve an issue we have with utilizing/recycling the tailings of our material,” explained Renita Dominaux of Dynamic Air Shelters. “As a result of that session, we have established a relationship with individuals and researchers from the Faculties of Science and Engineering and Applied Science. We are confident that through leveraging the talents and knowledge of Memorial’s distinguished academic minds as well as our own people, we will ensure greater inroads in sustainability and good corporate stewardship within our industry. We are looking forward to this journey and a positive outcome.”

Research funding agencies, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Industry Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador also attended the event to share information on their funding programs.

"The NEIA research connector was a great initial event for the Newfoundland and Labrador environmental industries sector,” said Richard Isnor, manager, NSERC-Atlantic. “The interest and engagement of academics at Memorial, the College of the North Atlantic and the Marine Institute in this event was outstanding and demonstrated very strong academic interest in developing environmental research partnerships with industry. Hopefully we can build on this success with future events that benefit a broad range of industrial environmental research interests."


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