REGINA – On Feb. 6 PTRC Sustainable Energy and Mitacs announced in Regina a four-year collaborative funding program to develop and retain highly qualified personnel (HQPs) in “cleantech” research and development (R&D) at the University of Regina and other universities. The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) will contribute $2.72 million to universities between 2024 and 2028, which will be matched with an additional $3.33 million by Mitacs, to fund graduate and post-graduate researchers in sustainable energy. Total new funds directed to university-based research will be $6.05 million.

The collaborative program will include projects in geothermal energy, blue hydrogen, CO2 capture and storage, integrated power systems incorporating AI, and the reduction of environmental impacts in hydrocarbon production.

“This new four-year collaborative funding agreement builds on the successes that PTRC and Mitacs have had since 2018. The funding and training developed more than 75 students and qualified professionals at the University of Regina and at other collaborating universities,” said Ranjith Narayanasamy, president and CEO of PTRC. “Between now and 2028 these new funds will see an equal number of students and post-docs trained in cleantech.”

“The development and retention of talent – professionals with the unique skills required to attain a sustainable energy future— is an important goal both for Mitacs as an organization and of this collaborative funding agreement,” said John Hepburn, CEO of Mitacs. “We know that post-secondary students who have done a Mitacs internship in Saskatchewan are more likely to stay in Saskatchewan after they graduate and that Mitacs programs help companies across the province attract, develop, and retain top talent. We are proud to play a part in this prosperous future for Saskatchewan.”

Approved projects within the overall program have been submitted by researchers from the Universities of Regina, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Calgary, and St. Francis Xavier, with most research projects happening at Saskatchewan’s two main universities.

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Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education Gordon Wyant noted that the province has been a long-term supporter of innovative energy research through both PTRC and Mitacs.

Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education Gord Wyant. Photo courtesy PTRC

 

“The Government of Saskatchewan values our ongoing partnerships with Mitacs and the PTRC. Their contributions help our post-secondary sector provide important innovation and research opportunities to students, further advancing research in sustainable energy. Saskatchewan is a global leader in developing technologies like carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen, as well as nuclear energy and innovation. Together, we will continue to build a strong, sustainable Saskatchewan.”

Dr. Christopher Yost, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Regina, echoed the importance of the role PTRC and Mitacs are playing in the University’s development of a highly skilled workforce.

“The University of Regina has been a key partner in PTRC’s energy research for the last 25 years and we are excited by the next four years of clean-tech research and development thanks to funding from Mitacs and the PTRC. Our long-standing relationship has helped to train the next generation of researchers in energy technology leading to a healthy and sustainable future.”

PTRC’s Mitacs post-doctoral fellow, Marziyeh Kamali, who successfully completed her Ph.D. at the University of Regina, has contributed to a study looking at geothermal heating for the City of Regina’s new aquatic centre. She is excited by her ongoing work at PTRC in clean technologies.

“My work, co-funded by PTRC and Mitacs, has allowed me to remain in Regina working on projects like geothermal heating. I’m delighted by the opportunities provided by both organizations.”

A not-for-profit organization, Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.

 

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