Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai at a recent funding announcement for Simon Fraser University’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering and School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, which are both based in Surrey. (Photo: SFU Surrey)

Simon Fraser University

SFU Surrey programs receive nearly $3M in federal funding

University’s clean tech, entrepreneurship research to expand

Two Surrey-based Simon Fraser University programs will be receiving more than $1 million in federal funding.

The university’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, in conjunction with the new School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, are receiving more than $1 million in funding from the Western Economic Diversification Canada, according to a release from SFU.

READ ALSO: SFU unveils campus expansion in Surrey for clean tech studies, April 25, 2019

The funding will “create an experimental research facility to prototype clean technology solutions for the aerospace industry.”

SFU says the facility “will foster academic-industry partnerships to develop such projects as lightweight hydrogen storage and fuel cell power systems for zero-emission, long-range, unmanned aerial vehicles.”

The facility will foster academic-industry partnerships to develop such projects as lightweight hydrogen storage and fuel cell power systems for zero-emission, long-range, unmanned aerial vehicles.

Erik Kjeang, associate professor who holds a Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cell Science and Technology Development, said emission reductions in the aerospace sector “are a major challenge for the global clean energy transition.”

“Our aim is to contribute new technology for lightweight, highly efficient hydrogen storage and fuel cell systems as a power source for electric aircraft, in close collaboration with innovative Canadian industry partners,” Kjeang said. “We are very grateful for the support provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada which enables prototyping and experimental testing of these new technologies.”

The School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering and School of Sustainable Energy Engineering funding was announced at the SFU Surrey campus by Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai.

“Growing a culture of innovation means investing in high-quality facilities, supporting cross-sector partnerships, and expanding access to learning opportunities,” Sarai said. “Today’s investment in two important programs at Simon Fraser University builds on our competitive advantages and will result in game-changing technologies and commercial ventures that benefit all Canadians.”

Meantime, the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, which supports early-stage entrepreneurs and startups at SFU, also received federal funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The $1.9 million in funding will be used to “expand its youth entrepreneurship program to underrepresented faculties, and engage with industries so that student innovators can work to solve industry challenges in key areas such as health, sustainability and creative technologies.”

The funding, according to the release, will also help turn more research into commercial ventures by growing SFU’s Invention to Innovation program offered through the Beedie School of Business.

Venture Connection, which is based out of the Surrey campus, and the Chang Institute, reads the release, deliver training programs and resources to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since its start in 2008, the initiative has helped “to equip more than 10,000 future leaders and innovators with entrepreneurial skills, mentored more than 750 teams and provided business development services to more than 230 early-stage startups.”

READ ALSO: ‘An AI to change human behaviour’: SFU Surrey unveils trash-sorting robot, July 23, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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