TORONTO, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - An innovative nation-wide research project
led by the mining industry and carried out by Canadian universities is
being supported by the largest grant ever awarded by the Natural
Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through its
Collaborative Research and Development program.
The $5.1M NSERC grant was formally announced today by the Honourable
Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State (Science and Technology). The
NSERC funding will match close to $7M in cash and in-kind contributions
from sponsors in the Canadian mining and exploration industry, acting
through the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC). The initial grant
application to NSERC included 17 Canadian universities and 24 industry
partners. Since the project won official approval, the number of
participating universities has grown to 24, while the number of
industry partners has grown to 27.
The research project, known as the "Footprints Project," will develop
new tools for remotely sensing and assessing mineral deposits far below
the surface based on their subtle signals, or footprints. "Ultimately,
we believe the work we're pursuing can improve the way we approach
mineral exploration and resource development in Canada and around the
world," says Dr. Michael Lesher, Research Chair in Mineral Exploration
and Professor of Economic Geology at Laurentian University. Over 24
universities will participate in the research collaboration, under the
leadership of Dr. Lesher and Dr. Mark Hannington, Goldcorp Chair in
Economic Geology and Professor of Earth Sciences at University of
"The unprecedented level of collaboration among the exploration
industry, service providers, government institutions, researchers and
universities sets a new standard for our industry," according to Dr.
Francois Robert, VP & Chief Geologist, Global Exploration, Barrick Gold
Corporation. As one of the architects of the project, Dr. Robert used
CMIC's industry-driven approach to innovation and brought in 27
industry sponsors for the large-scale research collaboration.
The partners include 14 service providers, who were involved in the
project from the early stages. "The buy-in of a broad range of service
providers as well as industry sponsors was crucial to ensuring the
project had a commercialization component. Most research proposals
include acquiring data and generating knowledge, but Footprints
includes commercialization as the extra step towards true innovation."
says Alan Galley, CMIC's Exploration Research Director.
CMIC Chair of the Board John Thompson believes, "The CMIC Footprints
project represents a major milestone in the development of
collaborative research projects. NSERC's recent decision to match the
extensive funding from industry is a testament to CMIC's approach of
partnership between industry, academia and government." CMIC aims to
produce a fundamental shift in how innovation takes place, with the
mining industry defining the major technical challenges that it needs
to address, and CMIC matching proposed solutions to multiple funding
The Footprints project's industry sponsors and university research
community share a 10-year strategic vision that the success of the
project could result in the development of a more permanent, national
minerals-related research network.
SOURCE: Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC)
For further information:
Alina Fedorowicz, M.Sc.
Office and Communications Manager
Canada Mining Innovation Council
Phone : (613) 996 - 5486