NBIF Awards 2024 Climate Impact Grants: Fueling Green Innovation in New Brunswick

Jeff White smiling headshot

Jeff White


The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) proudly awards seven 2024 Climate Impact Research Fund grants totaling $540,000 to New Brunswick researchers. These awards, selected from 24 strong applications by an external review panel, drive cleantech and climate-adaptive research, aiming to reduce greenhouse gases and tackle New Brunswick’s climate challenges. Each project, poised for commercialization, collaborates with key partners for effective implementation and progress in growing the green economy.

The quality of applicants reaffirms that New Brunswick is home to research and development expertise ready to tackle our most pressing sustainability challenges. “We need to make a shift from seeing urgent climate challenges as problems – instead view them as extraordinary opportunities for innovation, growth, and positive change,” said NBIF CEO, Jeff White. “We have the expertise in New Brunswick to solve climate issues head-on.  Companies also have the imperative to adopt innovative clean tech solutions. NBIF’s Climate Impact Research Fund Grant fuels this application and adoption of home-grown research and development ensuring a sustainable New Brunswick.”

In its third year, NBIF’s Climate Impact Research Fund is made possible through a partnership with Opportunities New Brunswick and support from the province’s Climate Change Fund.  This fund supports the development of technology with potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as well as research into best approaches for climate change adaptation. 

Clodualdo Aranas, one of this year’s grant recipients reiterates the importance of commercialization, “The invaluable support from the NBIF Climate Impact Research Fund ensures that our research findings will be tailored to meet the demands of the automotive industry, accelerating the transition to clean transportation and making EVs more cost-effective for the public.”

Here is the complete list of 2024 NBIF Climate Impact Grant recipients:    

  1. Moulay Akhloufi, UdeM. “Leveraging AI for Enhanced Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Mitigation,” $90,000. This project is engaging NBPower and PME Energy to develop and implement AI tools that will help improve efficiency of power transmission and make it more resilient.
  2. Clodualdo Aranas, UNB. “Rare-earth-free permanent magnets with high energy density for electric vehicles,” $90,000. The researcher is developing new magnets from transition metals such as iron and nickel, that can have properties needed to compete with the very strong rare-earth magnets that are environmentally costly to produce and needed for electric vehicle motors.
  3. Ian Church, UNB. “A coastal site assessment digital twin: Linking ocean sensors to physical oceanographic simulation modelling to plan for climate adaptation,” $90,000. The researcher and ocean mapping group will be partnering with Port of Belledune to create mapping and digital modeling for the Port that will inform the development of climate resilient infrastructure.
  4. Shabnam Jabari, UNB. “Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation through Advanced Urban Digital Twins and Augmented Reality,” $90,000. The applicant is developing tools that will be applied to urban planning and better position New Brunswick municipalities to make decisions on civic planning and infrastructure.
  5. Nicolas Pichaud, UdeM. “Honeybees’ resilience to climate change: problems and solutions,” $90,000. Dr. Pichaud and his group will trial a nutritional supplement for honeybees to evaluate its effectiveness in improving bee resilience to climate fluctuations and minimizing hive loss.
  6. Heather Major, UNB “Phenotypic plasticity or adaptation? Response of Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica) to ocean warming in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine,” $60,000. This project will study the population of Atlantic Puffins from Machias Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy, using this species as a model to inform how other species and ecosystems are responding to climate changes and rising ocean temperatures. Results will help inform policy regarding ocean resources.
  7. Shivam Saxena, UNB. “Using Vehicle to Anything (V2X) to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change“, $30,000. The project will investigate both the potential for vehicle to anything charging to help offset peak demand on the electricity grid, and also consumers attitudes and use-case scenarios that are most likely to result in application of this novel technology.
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