A sunsetting program that founded five Chairs in applied research at New Brunswick institutions.
Please note: this program is not open for new applications.

The purpose of our $8 million New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair Initiative (NBIRC) is to foster greater collaboration between the private sector and academia. Each Chair is exclusively focused on research to help private sector companies develop new and improved products and technology. This includes developing new or existing intellectual property within companies and/or the research chair and their team.

Refer to the profiles of our research chairs to discover their areas of expertise.

J.R. Jocelyn Paré Medical Technology

Dr. Jocelyn Paré has had a long and distinguished career as a public sector scientist with Environment Canada. Over the years, he has published over 300 papers, while 2000 more are a result of his work. His scientific specialties include nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to the analysis of contaminants in air, water, soil, plant and animal tissues, and chemical reactions caused by the impact of electrons to the structure of complex biological molecules. He is famous for developing Microwave-Assisted Processes and is the sole inventor of 10 patents and co-inventor of two more.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Atlantic Canada has the highest incidence rate in the country. With New Brunswick’s aging population, the effect of cancer on health care costs, life expectancy and suffering continues to increase. By integrating his patents and applying his knowledge surrounding microwaves to products and research at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Paré is developing new, non-invasive treatments for more precise screening methods to detect cancer.

As the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Medical Technologies, Dr. Paré’s scientific and technology transfer expertise will help position New Brunswick as a world leader in the discovery, innovation and commercialization of medical technologies. He will use his Chair, network and knowledge in electromagnetic energy and microwave-assisted processing to create opportunities for multiple value-added industries including wood, food, biopharmaceuticals and bio-pesticides.

Erik Scheme Medical Devices and Technology

As technology advances, the demand for advanced wearable medical devices has seen a rapid increase in the past five years, including smart prosthetic hands and limbs, multi-monitoring devices for human physiology, and more recently, human performance augmentation technologies. The growth rate of the wearable medical device industry is expected to compound annually at a rate of 16 per cent, and at 45 per cent for multi-monitoring devices. Founded in 1965, the UNB Institute for Biomedical Engineering is recognized as one of the top five research organizations of its kind in the world.

As the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Medical Devices and Technology, Dr. Scheme’s mandate is to position New Brunswick as a world leader in the discovery, innovation and commercialization of medical devices and technology. He leads the growth of New Brunswick’s emerging medical devices industry by making it a destination of choice for new and existing companies, entrepreneurs, and exceptional students. Working with a large internal team, and from other public and private organizations, Dr. Scheme’s focus is to effectively put the results of their collective work into the hands of industry.

Dr. Erik Scheme is a Research Engineer in biological signal processing and control, human-machine interfaces, and product design at the University of New Brunswick’s Institute for Biomedical Engineering. Recipient of the 2013 Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, he has published articles in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, and more. Dr. Scheme received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick.

Marc Surette Biosciences

Nutrition magazines and media personalities have been hailing the positive effect of omega-3 fatty acids on human health for several years, and the food and pharmaceutical industries have followed suit. Common sources of omega-3 fatty acids come from animals, most predominantly fish. However, the increased use of omega-3s in food products, nutritional supplements, and new compounds for treating inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, discovered by Dr. Surette, is pushing demand beyond supply. This has brought a number of issues to light, including the fishery sustainability, and the increasing presence of toxins – like mercury – in wild fish.

As the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Biosciences, Dr. Surette will work in partnership with agricultural companies to develop crops of a specific plant rich in a new form of omega-3 fatty acids. This will open up new opportunities for farmers in New Brunswick and beyond to grow a new and potentially lucrative crop. Dr. Surette’s aim is to work with industry to integrate these vegetable-based and sustainable fatty acids into their products. This, together with the development of new compounds for treating inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, will provide tremendous support for New Brunswick’s burgeoning biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Dr. Surette is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Université de Moncton. A recipient of the Canada Research Chair in Cellular Lipid Metabolism, he has published over 45 articles in countless international journals including the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of Nutrition, and the International Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, to name a few. Dr. Surette completed his PhD in biochemistry at Cornell University.

Meng Gong Advanced Wood Products

Dr. Meng Gong is the Acting Director and Senior Research Scientist of the Wood Science and Technology Centre (WSTC) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). He received his Master’s degree in wood technology and Ph.D. in wood engineering from Nanjing Forestry University (China) and UNB, respectively.

As the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Advanced Wood Products, Dr. Gong leads research on wood quality, wood modification and engineered wood products in the WSTC. He dedicates himself to research and development of modified wood and engineered wood products and their uses in wood building construction.

Since 2008, Dr. Gong has been one of nine voting members sitting on the Standing Committee on Technical Evaluations (SCTE), Canadian Commission on Construction Materials Evaluation, and the National Research Council. He is the only member with expertise in wood products who is physically located in Atlantic Canada. As a member, Dr. Gong reviews the Scope and Evaluation Plans and Technical Guides for innovative construction materials and products.

In 2015, Dr. Gong was elected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS) – internationally regarded as a very high honor in the wood science community. In addition, Dr. Gong received UNB’s Merit Award in 2016, recognizing his outstanding performance, commitment and service to the university.

Dr. Ehab Misk Aquatic Biosciences

Dr. Ehab Misk is a Research Scientist at the Hunstman Marine Science Centre. He holds a BSc and MSc in veterinary medicine from Assiut University (Assiut, Egypt) and a PhD in pathobiology from the University of Guelph.

As the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Aquatic Biosciences, Dr. Misk’s research has focused on fish disease surveillance, molecular diagnostics, regulation of innate immune response, and disease resistance. His research has involved numerous viral and bacterial pathogens, including those that infect Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, baitfish, shiners, minnows and suckers.

Dr. Misk’s skills and expertise fall under cell culture, gene expression, flow cytometry, molecular biology, immunology, innate immunity, virus, and other related areas. His expertise ensures Huntsman’s reputation as a leader in aquatic science research.