Government invests $5.5 million in research network to help improve the health of Canada's freshwater lakes

News Release

Large‑scale network will bring together country's top water systems researchers

November 7, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canada's biggest environmental and economic challenges require the brightest minds working together to produce innovative solutions that will support a clean environment, a sustainable economy and a strong middle class. That's why the Government of Canada supports an inclusive and collaborative approach to innovation, one that encourages researchers and their partners to combine their expertise so they may address these crucial issues together.
The Honourable Marie‑Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today highlighted nearly $5.5 million in funding for a research network, based at Université de Sherbrooke, which is researching ways to modernize the stewardship of Canada's lakes.

This network is one of four that received a total of nearly $22 million, as announced on October 19 by Minister Duncan at Carleton University. Scientists and business leaders will join together in these networks to tackle pressing challenges like targeting pollution, exploring enhanced manufacturing technology, developing sustainable natural resource extraction methods and modernizing the stewardship of Canadian lakes. The four networks are the most recent recipients of funding through the Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks competition, administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The network led by Université de Sherbrooke professor Yannick Huot is bringing together 18 of Canada's top water systems researchers, with the goal of better understanding the health of Canada's freshwater lakes. Researchers are working to develop new monitoring approaches and techniques to better manage the ecosystems of Canada's lakes. As a first step, the network is collecting samples from hundreds of lakes across the country to start compiling useful information that will guide its work.


"Our government is proud to support the important work of talented researchers who are collaborating with their partners to create solutions for some of the most critical issues Canada is facing. These networks will help train the next generation of young researchers by providing them with the skills they need for today's job market. By investing in these networks, our government is demonstrating its commitment to generating the evidence needed to support a clean environment, a sustainable economy and a strong middle class."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"I am happy that the research network led by Université de Sherbooke has the opportunity to engage in work that is critical to protecting Canada's numerous lakes. In our region, we are particularly aware of the challenges facing the health of our bodies of water. This network also provides a great opportunity for researchers and stakeholders to work together."

– The Honourable Marie‑Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

"NSERC is proud to support these networks of researchers and companies that are working to find innovative solutions to some of Canada's most pressing challenges. Facilitating close connections and partnerships with business ensures that discovery research is enriched by industry perspectives and market needs."

– B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

"Canada has more lakes than any other country in the world—more than one million. Knowing the current health of Canadian lakes has become essential to better protecting this valuable resource against current and future threats. On behalf of my network colleagues, I'd like to thank NSERC for enabling us to conduct this Canada‑wide study."

– Yannick Huot, professor and scientific director of the network, Université de Sherbooke

"This announcement hits on our desire to highlight the expertise of our researchers in taking on some of society's most critical issues. It further illustrates how university research contributes to the well‑being of future generations."

– Luce Samoisette, Rector, Université de Sherbooke

Quick facts

  • Four research networks are being supported over the next five years.
  • Other networks are focused on helping curb pollution from oil and gas refinery flare stacks; minimizing the environmental impact of mining operations; and developing virtual machining technology software to allow companies to design and produce new products without costly physical trials.
  • NSERC conducts extensive reviews to ensure that these networks remain relevant for Canada.
  • The 2016 Strategic Partnership Grants competition will focus on advanced manufacturing; environment and agriculture; information and communication technologies; and natural resources and energy. The results of this competition will be announced next year.

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Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Martin Leroux
Senior Communications Advisor
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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