Government of Canada supports first Industrial Research Chair at Université du Québec en Outaouais

News Release

Funding to help develop sensors for the quick detection of harmful bacteria

March 30, 2016 – Gatineau, Quebec – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull–Aylmer, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today announced the Government of Canada's support for the creation of the Université du Québec en Outaouais' (UQO) first Industrial Research Chair.

Internationally renowned photonics researcher Dr. Wojtek J. Bock, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Photonics Research Centre at UQO, will receive $1.85 million for the creation of the Chair. This investment by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Laval-based firm Sécurité et Protection Internationale (SPI) will allow Dr. Bock and his team to finalize the development of new photonic technologies to detect bacteria and harmful chemicals. Dr. Bock has been a Canada Research Chair in Photonics since 2003.

These technologies promise to enable the rapid detection of harmful bacteria such as E.coli or cyanobacteria at contaminated sites in less than 20 minutes. This would be a substantial improvement over current methods, which require sending samples to a laboratory for analysis and can take several days.


"This Industrial Research Chair, the first at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, is an excellent example of how collaboration between academia and the private sector can help to transform excellent research into technological advances to support the health and safety of Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada's research community and innovators like Dr. Bock."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"I would like to congratulate Dr. Bock on the work of his department and the further prestige it brings to the Université du Québec en Outaouais. This is great news for the region and for Canadian research. I look forward to seeing the results of his work for years to come."

– Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull–Aylmer

Quick facts

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chairs help universities build on existing strengths and work with industry to undertake major research endeavours in science and engineering.
  • Through the Industrial Research Chairs program, industrial partners benefit from increased access to specialized expertise, which helps to build the research and development capacity of large and small companies.
  • Dr. Bock is a leader in the field of fibre-optic sensors.
  • Dr. Bock has held a Canada Research Chair since 2003 and has received nearly $6 million in funding for research infrastructure from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Quebec.

Associated links


Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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