October 25, 2012: The next generation of talent required to sustain Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing ocean industries is getting a financial boost to support their research and development (R&D) projects.

The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) today launched details of its fourth Ocean Industries Student Research Awards competition, which target post-secondary students interested in pursuing higher education, industry relevant research, and future employment in Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries. Approximately 20 awards will be presented ranging in value from up to $7,500 per year for undergraduate research and $20,000 to $30,000 per year at the graduate level.

“Newfoundland and Labrador has the unique geographical surroundings that make this province the best place in the world to conduct research related to ocean industries,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for RDC. “Recognizing R&D as a catalyst for innovation, these awards play an important role in the development of the highly-qualified people that our businesses need to fuel innovation and remain globally competitive.”

Students focusing on research in areas such as offshore petroleum engineering, geoscience, ocean engineering, ocean technology including marine transport, fisheries, aquaculture, and other areas such as marine science that support R&D, innovation and the commercialization of ocean technologies are encouraged to apply. Research supervisors will also receive funding to support their supervisory work.

Recognizing the need to increase student engagement in Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries, masters and doctoral candidates applying for RDC’s awards this year will be required to have industry collaboration for their projects. This requirement will strengthen relationships between the business community and academia, as well as open up potential career opportunities.

“Our Ocean Industries Student Research Awards are giving young researchers the opportunity to collaborate with business, focus on their research interests and pursue future careers in ocean industries in our province,” said Glenn Janes, CEO, RDC. “I would encourage eligible students from Newfoundland and Labrador, other provinces and countries to consider applying for these awards.”

The Ocean Industries Student Research Awards are open to post-secondary undergraduate and graduate students in Canada and internationally, who are interested in pursuing ocean industries-related studies and research in Newfoundland and Labrador at Memorial University, its Marine Institute, or College of the North Atlantic.

Candidates are selected based on academic achievement, technical merits of their proposed research plan and the relevance of the research to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries. RDC’s research awards committee, made up of academia, business and government representatives, provides advice to RDC regarding final selection of the award recipients.

More information about the Ocean Industries Student Research Awards competition is available on RDC’s Facebook page – RDC (Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador) – and on Twitter, @RDC NL, #OISRA. As part of this year’s promotional campaign, RDC is also giving away three iPads; contest details can be found online.

The deadline for applications is February 7, 2013. Applications are available online at www.rdc.org.

About RDC’s Ocean Industries Student Research Awards: RDC’s Ocean Industries Student Research Awards represent both a reward for academic excellence and a strategic investment by RDC in research expertise. The awards target students who are interested in pursuing higher education, industry-relevant research and future employment in Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries.

About the Research and Development Corporation: The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. In Budget 2012: People and Prosperity – Responsible Investments for a Secure Future, RDC was allocated $19 million to make strategic research and development related investments in people, research opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org.

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Media Contacts: Jeff Green, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Research & Development Corporation, 709-758-0973, 691-8892; jeffsgreen@rdc.org

Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, 709-729-4570, 690-6290, scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca