April 3, 2006

EOIs invited for research projects in waste management, sustainable energy technologies

The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Centre for Earth and Environmental Technologies, is soliciting expressions of interest (EOIs) for proposed projects in its Waste Management and its Sustainable Energy Solutions clusters. The latter group deals with minimizing the environmental footprint or impact of energy production and/or consumption.

There is currently one area of specific interest in the Waste Management cluster, i.e. waste diversion, and two areas of specific interest in the Sustainable Energy Solutions cluster: outdoor air quality and health, and indoor air quality and health.

These areas have been chosen based on a number of criteria and represent the areas on which each cluster is currently focusing. It is expected that both requests for EOIs will be issued periodically, e.g. every three to four months. Thus, if a research team does not have all the components of a good project, there will be other opportunities over the coming year to submit again.

The call for EOIs for waste diversion research is in support of the Ontario government's goal of reaching a 60% waste diversion rate by 2008. The Centre for Earth and Environmental Technologies is seeking out research and development opportunities for new waste management and waste diversion technologies that could help meet this goal.

The areas of science, technology and infrastructure proposed for investigation will include, but are not limited to: separation technologies; waste treatment technologies; alternative energy sources (including energy from waste) and distribution systems; material and nutrient recycling; bio-products; and other related technologies

The air quality and health (outdoor and indoor) initiative continues the Centre's history of investing in air quality projects, particularly in the area of atmospheric chemistry and modeling. Building on past successes, this call for EOIs focuses on eliminating or reducing the health impacts of poor air quality, both indoor and outdoor. Research resulting from this call for EOIs is expected to yield knowledge and/or technologies that will lead to commercially available solutions.

Areas of science, technology and infrastructure proposed for investigation will include, but are not limited to: separation/filtration; air treatment (e.g. bio-treatment); control technologies; means to reduce generation/emission of pollutants (i.e. particulate matter, VOCs); retrofit solutions, in addition to new-build solutions; and other related technologies.

To reflect the need for industry relevancy, projects must have partners from the private and/or public sectors who are also investing in the project. This investment may be cash and/or in-kind and should involve at least one partner interested in commercialization of the results of a research project. As a guideline, researchers should have partner support equal to or preferably greater than the amount requested from the Centre, as these opportunities are highly competitive.

Once the EOIs have been received, the Centre for Earth and Environmental Technologies will review them and ask researchers whose submissions meet the requirements to prepare detailed proposals. These will undergo peer review, with recommendations made whether or not to support the project. Final funding approval will be granted by a review committee based on the peer review recommendations. More than one investment may be approved for each focus area.

Proposals up to three years in length will be entertained. Multiyear proposals will be reviewed annually for progress before the next year's funding will be approved.

Proponents whose projects are selected for support will be required to file annual progress reports and a complete final report detailing the level of success achieved and the directions further research and development should take. Each year as well, researchers will have to submit a statement of proposed outcomes, such as commercial benefits, impacts on regulatory issues, etc.

EOIs, in electronic format (Word or PDF) are due by 5:00 p.m. April 14, 2006 and should be sent to Michael Fagan, director, business development, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Centre for Earth and Environmental Technologies, 4850 Keele Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto M3J 3K1; 416/665-5451, FAX 416/665-2032, E-mail Michael.Fagan@oce-ontario.org. Requests for EOI forms in electronic format should be directed to HeatherStoddart, 416/665-5464, FAX 416/665-2032, E-mail Heather.Stoddart@oce-ontario.org.

Applicant(s) selected to prepare a detailed proposal will be notified within ten working days and will receive the relevant forms electronically at that time. The fully completed proposals (including partner commitment documentation) will be due by May 26, 2006, submitted to the address above. The Centre aims to negotiate one or more project contracts with the successful applicants as soon as possible.

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