A $1.1 million provincial investment, through the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), is expanding leading-edge research infrastructure in Nova Scotia.

Eleven cutting-edge research projects will broaden understanding of health-based studies, as well as clean technology and environmental developments. Together, they expect to create upwards of 375 jobs for highly qualified people over the next five years, representing a total value to the Province of Nova Scotia of over $2.8 million through significant leveraging opportunities.

As Lois Levine, executive director of NSRIT explains, “The provincial investment of $1.1 million in research equipment is vital to productivity and innovation in Nova Scotia. We are attracting world class researchers who are working on practical solutions in key sectors, giving students the opportunity to be trained with the latest technologies.”

Dr. Olav Krigolson’s research at Dalhousie University will address a multitude of problems that are important to Nova Scotians, and the world, in his study of human decision-making and learning.

Krigolson said his lab, which received a $123,826 NSRIT award towards the total $309,565 project, will study the process it takes for a brain to make a decision.

Krigolson said his lab is unique to Canada, due to the combination of virtual reality, camera systems and neuro-imaging that will be used in the research.

“Until we actually understand how the brain works, we can’t really apply it. This gives us more information about what’s going on inside people’s heads,” he said. “The NSRIT funding provides us with a very unique opportunity to ask some interesting research questions. We wouldn’t be going anywhere without it.”

At Saint Mary’s University, Dr. Jason Masuda received $171,787 from NSRIT towards the total cost of $429,468 to purchase a highly sophisticated spectrometer for the Maritime Center for Green Chemistry on campus.

This equipment is vital to the team of researchers and students who are seeking environmentally friendly solutions to sustain natural resources for the green economy. Results can lead to cleaner fertilizers and solvents that are important to agriculture and industry. Students are being trained using the latest clean technologies so they will bring these skills to the Nova Scotia workforce.

Dr. Peter MacIntyre at Cape Breton University (CBU) received $114,895 in NSRIT funding towards a new lab and equipment. The creation of this lab will help Dr. MacIntyre and Dr. Erin Robertson at CBU to better understand language – both in learning second languages and in dealing with learning disabilities like dyslexia.

There are benefits of addressing these issues early, said MacIntyre. A push towards healthy development, including children’s success in school, and therefore later employment, minimizes future financial burdens to both the individual and government.

NSRIT matches funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The beneficiaries of this recent funding include Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and Cape Breton University.

For further examples of NSRIT success stories, please visit WWW.NSRIT.CA.

The Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) supports research infrastructure in Nova Scotia by matching national funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). NSRIT benefits researchers in areas such as health and life sciences, ocean technology, clean technology, and information and communications technology. Since 2001, the Province of Nova Scotia - through NSRIT - has awarded over $66 million to more than 340 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, please contact:

Lois Levine
Executive Director

Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 18, 2012