New R&D funding helps Newfoundland and Labrador companies to hire highly-qualified personnel

ST. JOHN'S, NL, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The Research & Development Corporation (RDC), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) are partnering to provide financial support to help Newfoundland and Labrador companies involved in research and development (R&D) activities to better access highly-qualified technical people.

RDC, NSERC and ACOA each have programs targeted at enhancing the province's R&D sector, including providing financial assistance to companies to supplement costs associated with hiring recent doctoral (PhD) graduates in support of their R&D activities.

"The ultimate goal is to enhance industry capacity as an R&D performer, a key driver behind innovation and business growth," said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer, RDC.  "Supporting post-doctoral researchers is a first for RDC and is an untapped area for us. These fellowships will provide companies with the human capital they need to solve technical challenges, develop new innovative products and services, and compete in global markets. At the same time, it will provide recent graduates with the opportunity to pursue a career in industry."

Qualifying companies apply for funding through NSERC's Industrial R&D Fellowships (IRDF) program, which will feed into RDC's process; and through ACOA's Business Development Program.

RDC and NSERC will each commit up to $30,000 per year for fellowship awards of up to two years. The qualifying company is responsible for negotiating the salary and benefits package with the IRDF candidate and must provide a minimum of $10,000 (plus benefits) per year. Supplemental support from ACOA may be considered if total funding from all government sources does not exceed 75 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications must be made directly to ACOA. 

To be nominated for an IRDF fellowship, the candidate must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada at the time of nomination. The candidate must have completed a doctoral degree in a discipline of science or engineering within the last five years, or expect to have completed all the requirements for such a degree by the proposed date of appointment.  Qualifying companies must be actively engaged in research and development activities.

"This partnership extends the reach and impact of NSERC's Industrial R&D Fellowships program by making companies in the region more aware of the talent that is available and how it can be used to help address their business innovation needs," said Janet Walden, Vice-President, Research Partnerships Programs at NSERC. "By working together with ACOA and RDC, we can more effectively connect postdoctoral researchers and companies, accelerating the transfer of expertise and technology, and increasing commercialization."

Further details on the IRDF program are available online at www.researchnl.com.

About the Research & Development Corporation

The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's research and development (R&D) performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including industry, academia and government agencies and departments. For more information about RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 postsecondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.

About the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is a regional development agency which works with businesses and communities to make Atlantic Canada's economy more innovative, productive and competitive. Together, with Atlantic Canadians, we are building a stronger economy.

SOURCE Research

For further information:

Media contacts:

Jeff Green
Communications Specialist
Research & Development Corporation
709-758-0973, 691-8892
jeffsgreen@researchnl.com

Danielle Nasrallah
Senior Communications Advisor
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
613-996-3861
media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Doug Burgess
Director, Communications
ACOA NL
709-772-2945
Doug.burgess@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

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