A recent $5.8 million provincial investment in 21 research infrastructure projects will bring significant economic and social benefits to Nova Scotians.

Lois Levine, executive director of Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), recognizes the Province’s role in bringing economic prosperity to Nova Scotia. “The benefits to Nova Scotians are tremendous. The Province’s funding of research infrastructure through NSRIT provides remarkable opportunities and solutions for job creation, healthier populations, environmental sustainability, an increased knowledge base and an improved economy for Nova Scotia.”

NSRIT matches funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Along with other partner contributions, this investment represents a total value of $36.4 million to the province of Nova Scotia, and $299 million nationally, through significant leveraging opportunities.

The beneficiaries of recent funding for research projects include Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Saint Mary’s University.

Researcher Jennie Rand from Acadia University received $39,166 from NSRIT to fund lab space and purchase equipment to advance research in water treatment technologies. The focus of her research is on innovative contaminant removal tools that will improve water quality in agricultural and rural communities.

Coupled with funding from CFI and partners, the NSRIT investment in Rand’s project will yield $98,000 for the province.

At Saint Mary’s University, researchers are working to establish a genetic profiling and analysis facility, which will have applications in criminal justice and wildlife protection.

According to Saint Mary’s researcher Tim Frasier, “This centre will benefit Nova Scotia in many ways. Specifically, it will train highly qualified researchers, eliminate the need to outsource genetic analysis to labs, which will in turn provide numerous employment opportunities within the province.”

Another project that has received significant support from NSRIT is the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, provincially led by Dr. Susan Kirkland, a professor with the community health and epidemiology department at Dalhousie’s faculty of medicine.

At a time when baby boomers are moving into late middle age and retirement, this large scale, national, 20-year initiative will provide the required infrastructure and capacity to study biological, psychological, social and environmental factors that influence health from mid-life to old age among 50,000 Canadians. The funds will allow Dalhousie to acquire equipment for a computer assisted telephone interview centre and a data collection site.

“This study will directly employ a significant number of highly educated individuals. Currently, there is one full-time research associate and seven interviewers working on the study. There are 10 co-investigators and two graduate students, as well as 33 collaborators. With the continued work of this study, I fully expect these numbers to triple within the next five years,” says Kirkland.

About Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust
Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) supports research infrastructure in Nova Scotia by matching national funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. NSRIT benefits researchers in areas such as health, environment and technology. Since 2001, NSRIT, through the Province of Nova Scotia, has awarded almost $60 million to more than 300 projects at Nova Scotia research beneficiary institutions, dramatically leveraging opportunities for innovation and direct economic benefits to the people of Nova Scotia and beyond.

For more information, contact:

Lois Levine 
Executive Director, NSRIT

Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 16, 2010