The College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) announced $25 million in support that will enhance the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by providing them with state-of-the art, industry-relevant, research infrastructure. By investing in new facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is helping to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers, to support private-sector innovation and to create high-quality jobs that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.
“Canadian colleges are lending their expertise to local companies, helping them to compete and grow,” said Dr. Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the CFI. “The CFI is ensuring that colleges have in place specialized facilities to support their role as important hubs of economic growth and job creation.” Olds College and their industry partners’ proposal submitted to the CFI under the College-Industry Innovation Fund for a $799,991 grant to the Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) for the Treatment Wetlands project entitled “Wireless Monitoring and Research Management of Constructed Wetlands” was approved. This project is in collaboration between Olds College, Foothills Landscaping Inc., Westhoff Engineering Resources Inc. and West Creek Developments.
Olds College’s Treatment Wetland research facility will demonstrate and investigate how wetlands can help reduce the negative impact on the environment and the increasing demand on the diminishing supply of clean water. This facility is the first of its kind in North America. The funds from CFI will support infrastructure costs including recirculation pumps and the networking and real-time data acquisition systems, among other equipment. The project is designed to increase the incremental capacity of the constructed wetland by expanding the physical research capacity and incorporating a new level of research monitoring, reporting and stakeholder engagement (real-time monitoring and distribution of information based on wireless data collection). The goals of this project aim to provide “open water” access to scientists, industry partners, schools and stakeholders around the world.
The project will meet industry training needs for a workforce with technical, supervisory and business capabilities relevant to sustainable landscape design, construction and management and research needs specifically as they relate to wastewater management using wetlands and native plant species. It will provide the knowledge and technology required for Alberta companies to be leaders in environmental stewardship, enhance environmental health and monitor the impacts of wetlands on biodiversity and ecological health, reduce water demand, and drought-proof the College campus by tripling the water storage capacity.
“We are very fortunate to receive this funding” explains Dr. Dickson Atuke, Lead Wetlands Scientist for the OCCI. “We believe it will be extremely beneficial for our research capabilities and for the future development of our students.”
Dr. Dickson Atuke | Lead Wetlands Scientist
1-800-661-6537, (403) 507-7973
Kelsey Aman | Communications Coordinator
1-800-661-6537, (403) 507-7717