UNB announced a $1.25 million gift from the McCain Foundation that will go towards the creation of a postdoctoral fellowship program on Tuesday.
The McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Innovation will provide early career research post-doctoral fellows $50,000 per year over a two to three year period. This funding is meant to support fellows’ research and assist with the transition to a market-ready product.
UNB president Eddy Campbell anticipates these fellowships to increase the economic and social impact of UNB on the province; UNB has incubated more than 70 start-ups since 2013 and contributes $1.2 billion to the economy on an annual basis.
“If you want to be the most entrepreneurial university in the country, you cannot rest upon your laurels. You must always be seeking new ways to make impact,” Campbell said.
Linda McCain, chair of the McCain Foundation, was also there for the announcement. The McCain Foundation has been working with the university for a while to create this program, which McCain wanted to reflect a certain set of ideals.
“The first thing was it had to have impact and add value to the students of the University of New Brunswick; it had to elevate the profile of the university by attracting top-notch candidate; and finally it need to lead to a path of idea development that could be marketed and sold in collaboration with government and industry partners,” said McCain.
Edward Cyr is the first candidate that has received the postdoctoral fellowship. Cyr has been at UNB since May and is taking charge of creating a research program for UNB’s new Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence.
Cyr graduated from the University of Waterloo with a post-doc in Mechanical Engineering and a specialization in new materials. With a research background in micro-scale modeling, Cyr will now research the augmentation of materials in mechanical design.
What exactly does that translate to? Dr. Cyr says “Imagine if you had a bridge that could just build itself?”
Cyr is one of nine post-docs who will be awarded the McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Innovation over the next eight years.