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McCain Foundation Invests $1.25-Million in Innovation Program at UNB

Edward Cyr, inaugural recipient of a McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Innovation at the University of New Brunswick. (Image: Rob Blanchard/UNB)

FREDERICTON– The University of New Brunswick has a new a postdoctoral fellowship program focused on innovation thanks to a $1.25 million donation from The McCain Foundation, announced Tuesday.

The McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Innovation aim to equip PhD graduates with the resources they need to transform their research into a product ready for market. These two- to three-year fellowships are valued at $50,000 per year and will be awarded competitively on an annual basis.

The program is designed to attract top early-career researchers to the university where over the course of their tenure, they will deepen their expertise in a specialist subject under the mentorship of faculty and through partnerships with industry leaders.

Linda McCain, chair of The McCain Foundation, said the McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Innovation will provide unique training opportunities for early-career researchers.

“We believe that these fellowships will enhance the recipients’ specialized expertise and also give them valuable skills that will translate their ideas into more opportunities for themselves and others in New Brunswick,” said McCain, in a release.

The first recipient of the McCain Fellowship is Dr. Edward Cyr. He came to UNB from the University of Waterloo this past May and began building his research program at the university’s new Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence.

He’s investigating the role that artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing play in the evolution of printed materials such as advanced stainless steels and aluminum alloys. He expects that the results will have applications in the marine industry, as well as the automotive, construction, and aircraft industries.

“Through the creation of these awards, The McCain Foundation has shown the value that it places on supporting future leaders,” said Cyr. “I believe that investing in education is the way to bring society into the best possible future, and I look forward to being a part of UNB’s and New Brunswick’s continued leadership in innovation.”