Six new Innovation Fellowships are being created at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Science following receipt of its largest-ever philanthropic gift.
Calgary-based Parex Resources and its chairman, U of C BSc alumnus Wayne Foo, are giving the Faculty of Science $3.24 million.
The U of C said the fellowships have been established to honour its 10-year anniversary and its commitment to innovation in the energy sector and beyond.
The fellowships will provide researchers and students resources to focus on how their science and expertise will positively impact society and solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in areas such as data science and analytics, cybersecurity, precision medicine and energy sources, the university said.
“The successes arising from the Parex Innovation Fellows will fuel an active innovation and discovery ecosystem in Alberta, Canada and beyond,” U of C president Ed McCauley said in a statement.
Foo added that, “Innovation means being courageous enough to do things that others aren’t doing — it’s not about competing, it’s about taking risks, failing early, and pushing through in doing what you do uniquely well.
“This gift embodies what we value at Parex. It is intended to foster leaders and researchers who are incubating excellent, innovative ideas. We want to remove barriers for them — barriers of time, finances and teaching loads — to give them the freedom to push toward commercialization in a new economy.”
The joint gift is part of the university’s $1.3 billion Energize campaign, which is now 97 per cent toward its targeted goal, the U of C said.
The Parex Innovation Fellows include:
- Dr. Peter Facchini, PhD who is investigating synthetic biology for creating medical-grade pharmaceutical opiates and cannabinoids
- Dr. Joel Reardon, PhD who is exploring Information security and privacy
- Dr. Kristina Rinker, PhD who is examining early cancer detection and drug testing devices
- Dr. George Shimizu, PhD who is studying CO2 solid sorbent material
- Dr. Marc Strous, PhD who is seeking economically feasible bioprocesses for large-scale CO2 conversion
- Dr. Orly Yadid-Pecht, PhD who is researching Integrated intelligent sensing and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imaging technologies