Cambrian College lands $1.75M for mining technology research: Sudbury institution designated as national Centre for Smart Mining.

Author:Gillis, Len

Cambrian College in Sudbury has received $1.75 million in federal funding along with the prestigious title of being a Technology Access Centre (TAC) for its expertise in mining research and technology.

The money is being allocated over a five-year period through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for the creation of the college's new Centre for Smart Mining. The announcement was made June 13 by Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre.

It means Cambrian is one of 47 NSERC research and technology centres located in post-secondary schools across Canada.

Ironically, Serre made his presentation via a videoconference link from Ottawa that had a technical audio glitch lasting nearly three minutes before the audio level was restored.

Serre said Cambrian was well positioned to advance more entrepreneurial ventures in the mining supply and service sector because of the college's wealth of experience, expertise and existing relationships with the mining industry.

"We can confidently expect that through its Centre for Smart Mining, Cambrian will become an even greater resource for mining technology developers and producers in Nickel Belt, Greater Sudbury, Northern Ontario and around the globe," he said.

Also speaking to the crowd at Cambrian's e-Dome was Mike Commito, the college's director of applied research, who said it was an exciting milestone for the institution.

"To establish a Technology Access Centre is really the high water mark of college applied research activity in Canada."

The process began last summer with a formal application to the federal government. From there, a group of scientists visited Cambrian to review its facilities and research programs. There are only two TAC facilities in Canada with mining-related applied research, the other being in Quebec.

Commito thanked industry partners in Sudbury who stepped forward to vouch for the research done by Cambrian staff and students to help their businesses.

One of them was Sudbury entrepreneur Kris Holland, president of Pure Realism, a company specializing in creating 3D imaging, animation and virtual reality of large venues, something that can be applied to the mining...

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