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Three research projects receive CFI funding

Whether Canada’s university researchers are addressing the global climate crisis or improving local health care, they are at the forefront of innovation at home and on the world stage – and that includes researchers at OCAD University.

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping researchers at the cutting edge of science and innovation, and that is why today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced more than $77 million to support 332 research infrastructure projects at 50 universities across the country, including three at OCAD University.

This contribution, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), will help universities like OCAD University attract and retain top researchers.

“Our researchers have always thought big. Now, more than ever, they need state-of-the-art labs and equipment to turn their visions into reality. Investing in our university research infrastructure is key to our continuing role as an innovation leader in wide-ranging fields, from Indigenous research to quantum computing, from neurobiology to advanced robotics. These investments will not only support our ground-breaking contributions to science and research but also improve our economy, environment and quality of life,” said the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Among the three OCAD U projects receiving funding is one that will seek to understand “shadow pandemics” that is being led by OCAD U Associate Professor Dr. Cindy Poremba in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Co-Director of the University’s game:play Lab.

Using Hybrid Images to Document COVID-19’s Shadow Pandemics in Vulnerable Communities is receiving $74,772 from the JELF. This research project will use next-generation imaging to get a more accurate picture of the “shadow pandemics” that have been eclipsed by the health toll taken by COVID-19.

These secondary impacts, such as the negative effects of social isolation and economic crisis, are easy to miss and are borne mainly by marginalized people. Better understanding of this subject will contribute to effective interventions that offer benefits beyond the pandemic.

Dr. Alexis Morris is leading a second OCAD U project, Mixed Reality Human-Computer Interfaces for Internet-of-things Enabled Environments, which is receiving $73,800 in funding. Dr. Morris is Assistant Professor in the Digital Futures program, and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in the Internet of Things.

This research will provide a much needed exploration into techniques for the use of mixed reality to enrich human-computer interaction (HCI) within the new wave of IoT-enabled environments. It will contribute to the improvement of current HCI challenges by developing a more rich IoT smart environment and better ways to interact and engage with this environment; frameworks for interaction with underlying IoT systems, which themselves are inherently complex; and frameworks for mixed reality IoT system presentation layers to engage and connect with humans within the environment. 

The third OCAD U research project is being led by Michael Page, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Art. Next Generation Holographic Technology and XR Research is receiving $39,025 in funding. Page is also Director of Phase Lab, Principal Investigator who has been involved in research in the field of holography and 3D visualization for 30 years.

The goal of this research is to provide the foundational technology for the development of next generation holographic applications. These exciting and novel applications range from the replication of Canadian Cultural Artefacts to the authentication and protection of a variety of products.

New insights into 3D visualization using next generation holography have led the Phase Lab to explore interactive holographic techniques using conventional animation married with multiplexed digital holograms.

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
For close to 25 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. Fostering a robust innovation system in Canada translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and ultimately vibrant communities.

By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, train the next generation of researchers and support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.