Lambton College NOVA Chemicals Health and Research Centre in Sarnia. (Photo by Lambton College)Lambton College NOVA Chemicals Health and Research Centre in Sarnia. (Photo by Lambton College)

Lambton College focuses on research enhancements after securing multiple grants

Lambton College will use $1.8 million in grant funding to purchase essential equipment for its energy storage and waste valorization research programs.

The post-secondary institute recently announced its success in securing funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The fund allocated more than $18 million to support 23 research infrastructure projects across Canada.

Lambton College Senior Vice President of Research and Innovation Dr. Mehdi Sheikhzadeh said they are "quite thankful" to receive the financial support and hope the provincial fund will match this amount.

Sheikhzadeh said energy and battery storage is a critical area in Ontario, specifically regarding the electric vehicle industry and the need for battery innovation.

"We are quite excited about this platform we are building at Lambton College to support the [industry] with respect to technology development," he said. "The second area is about valorization, which is about recycling, reusing, regenerating valuable products out of waste. We have been very active in that area for years but now the new grant is going to enhance further our capacity to be a better platform to support companies."

Sheikhzadeh said the school will buy 25 new pieces of lab equipment using the CFI funding. He said separate sources of funding, hopefully received, will be used for the actual projects.

While the focus is to help companies develop technologies and enhance innovation, Sheikhzadeh said the new equipment and infrastructure provides many side benefits.

"It provides the perfect platform for training the workforce — students and graduates, we are hoping that the equipment is going to be utilized by over 200 students who are going to be hired to do research for us," he said.

Sheikhzadeh also noted the community benefit, as their research may attract companies to the area.

"These things need to be looked at in a bigger picture, how they not only support research one-on-one with the company but actually they have a much bigger benefit for our community," he said.

Meanwhile, Lambton College recently received two Technology Access Centre (TAC) grants and two Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) grants, amounting to nearly $4 million in research funding.

One of the TAC grants will support the establishment of a new Digital Transformation Lab, designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises as they enhance their technological capabilities. The $1.75 million grant over five years will help provide access to software design, cloud computing, virtual reality, gamification, artificial intelligence, big data, and data science.

The other TAC grant will support a five-year renewal of the Bio-Industrial Process Research Centre. It was originally awarded TAC funding in 2019 to work with public and private sector partners to develop and optimize bio-focused technologies and processes.

The ARTI grants have a combined value of more than $390,000. The college said the funding will support sustainable practices in composite manufacturing and a thermal biomass conversion pilot facility. 

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