The renovation of the Centre of Research and Innovation (CRI) building in downtown Corner Brook has begun!
This centre is a collaborative effort between Grenfell Campus, Memorial University (GC-MUN), Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) and the College of the North Atlantic (CNA).
With one of the major outputs of the project now close to fruition after years of discussions and planning, just imagine how much work and collaborative efforts this project has required!
Being one of the major partners of the project, Grenfell Campus has made contributions through its research associates, assistants, technicians, and others, who have put significant work into the planning and development of the CRI. Dr. Mumtaz Cheema is one of the lead researchers on this project who inspires and supervises many graduate students who continue to make this partnership a success.
Dr. Cheema believes that this partnership is extremely important to enhance the food security agenda in NL and that it will play a pivotal role in enhancing the economic growth of western Newfoundland through innovative research, capacity building, and entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, this partnership “helped us in reshaping our research program directions and collaborations with industry,” he said. Therefore, Grenfell Campus benefits from the project by considerably increasing its research and innovation capacity. He explained that the research projects conducted within the frame of CRI have also been vital and instrumental in enhancing Grenfell's funding for an increasing number of graduate students. Several of Dr. Cheema’s students have analyzed soil and plant samples, carried out statistical analyses, and are now writing their theses for the boreal ecosystems and agricultural sciences M.Sc. program.
“This research partnership is very productive and will answer the research questions of our industrial partner,” said Dr. Cheema.
The Agricultural Clean Technology Program, along with the Mitacs Accelerate Program, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, provided the necessary funding for the research initiatives of many of these graduate students. Dr. Cheema said the outcome of the Clean Tech research project will generate scientific information to use wood ash and sludge - waste products generated by CBPPL - to produce horticultural and agronomic crops. He said that wood ash and sludge will improve soil quality and health, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, crop growth, yield, and phytochemical profile of high-value crops.
“Overall, the outcome of this project will help scientists and policymakers in developing mitigation and adaptation strategies to cope with the adversities of climate change,” he said, adding that growth media formulations using local natural resources will be used for raising nursery plants, kitchen gardening, greenhouse vegetable production, and liming material to generate revenue for the industry.
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