Groundbreaking research at Waterloo receives federal funding

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013) - A research facility that will one day develop the technology that enables hybrid vehicles to feed energy into the power grid is among the innovative research initiatives at the University of Waterloo that received major funding announced today. 

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced today it is awarding more than $4.7 million to four research projects at Waterloo. The Honourable James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that 75 projects at 34 institutions would receive a total investment of more than $215 million by the Government of Canada through the CFI’s Leading Edge Fund (LEF) and New Initiatives Funds (NIF).

"The University of Waterloo is very proud to be contributing to the talent and knowledge creation in Canada," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "I congratulate the teams of researchers identified in this announcement, and look forward to seeing their innovative ideas come to fruition."

The four research projects from the University of Waterloo included in today's funding announcement are:

1. Green and Intelligent Automotive (GAIA) Research Facility

Research: The Green and Intelligent Automotive (GAIA) Research Facility being established at the University of Waterloo will advance and commercialize transformative research. The development of intelligent software for use in vehicle computers will provide major reductions in emissions and fuel consumption. It will lead to the establishment of plug-in hybrid as an integral daytime supplier of energy, feeding into Canada's electrical grid.

Lead researcher: Professor John McPhee, Department of Systems Design Engineering and Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR)

Received: $2,128,182

2. Ontario Materials Technology: Harnessing the Power of Strategic Multifunctional Materials for Emerging Technologies

Research: The proposed research will focus on the development of multifunctional materials for new technology innovation. Multifunctional materials are materials or systems of materials that are capable of performing multiple primary functions, which will dramatically improve system performance and reduce both product size and cost. They will be designed and built by using new tools that enable Canadian researchers to precisely fabricate structures of any shape and form in three dimensions in the nanometer scale. The tools will put Canada among an elite group of a few countries in the world with access to this capability to advance these groundbreaking materials technologies.

Lead researcher: Professor Tong Leung, Department of Chemistry and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

Received: $1,474,545

3. Privacy Enhancing Technologies at a Global Scale

Research: Privacy-enhancing technologies, or PETs, allow people around the world to maintain control over who gets to learn what they are looking up, with whom they are conversing, and what they are reading. This project will experiment on three particularly important classes of PETs. Private information retrieval keeps private the information about what a person is looking up in a database. Anonymous communications networks allow people to use the Internet without automatically revealing their identities or locations. Censorship resistance empowers people around the world to decide for themselves what information they would like to read online.

Lead researcher: Professor Ian Goldberg, David. R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Received: $654,545

4. Facility for Global Quantum Communication and Security Certification

Research: This project will propel Canada's high-tech industry into the information age of the 21st century. The emerging quantum technologies can change the way we process and communicate information. The most important application in the near term is highly secure quantum key distribution (QKD), implemented by sending individual particles of light (photons) between distant user locations.

Lead researcher: Professor Thomas Jennewein, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)

Received: $490,000

CFI funding is used to establish world-class research facilities in Canada with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure. For more information, please visit

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit


Media Contact:                                           

Pamela Smyth

Media Relations Officer

Communications & Public Affairs

University of Waterloo


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