Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
August 27, 2019 

Memorial University Leading the Way in Harsh Environment Research

Memorial University is establishing a new Harsh Environment Research Facility (HERF) to strengthen the region’s infrastructure and expertise in technologies operating in harsh environments, such as the ocean, energy, shipping, and aerospace sectors.

The HERF will be a new world-class R&D facility for large-scale testing, research and development that is vital to the Canadian economy and environment. It will include a multi-purpose facility to simulate harsh conditions with icebergs and sea ice, high winds, waves, sea water spray, fog, and other harsh climatic conditions such as freezing rain storms. The facility will have strategic importance to industrial research locally, nationally and globally with its capacity to simulate both fresh and salt-water conditions, which will be unique in the world.

Memorial University will work with other post-secondary institutions and industry partners to address engineering challenges in three core areas – icing of marine vessels and other structures such as overhead power lines, aircraft and wind turbines; ice-structure interactions including ice management and safety and; advanced material coatings and engineered surfaces.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $2.4 million and the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, is providing a non-repayable contribution of $2.7 million. Husky Energy is investing $1 million.

Sarah Stoodley, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, on behalf of the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, along with Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, made the announcement today.

Economic growth and the creation of good jobs for Atlantic Canadians require innovation and diversification. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is growing the innovation economy by working to sustain strategic clusters, and enhance the development and reach of business accelerators and incubators. Projects like this also contribute to the Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

Support for innovation and technology delivers on commitments in The Way Forward’s Business Innovation Agenda to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified economy and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes
“Our government is proud to invest in research and innovation through this new world-class facility which will build industry-relevant Research and Development capacity in the area of ocean technology. Support for innovation and technology delivers on our government’s commitments in The Way Forward’s Business Innovation Agenda to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. These investments develop highly skilled jobs, to sustain local market growth and to further develop the economy.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Over the past number of years, Memorial University has built an international reputation for its research capacity, expertise and collaborative work in harsh environments. This new facility will help Memorial and its partners pursue important leading-edge research in this field, develop solutions to real world challenges and help drive innovation and growth in our region’s ocean industries.”
Nick Whalen
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of the blue economy to Atlantic Canada. Through the Ocean Supercluster, we are working with our partners to harness emerging technologies to strengthen Canada's ocean industries. That is why we are pleased to invest in this world-class initiative, which will be an asset for the Ocean Supercluster, and will enable Memorial University to pursue key research to help grow the oceans sector.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“At Memorial, we take pride in creating exciting teaching and learning environments for students and researchers alike, while simultaneously achieving an important goal of having a positive, practical impact on industry. This includes better ways to operate in harsh offshore environments. So I thank the Federal and Provincial Governments and Husky Energy for this critical investment into the establishment of this facility. Memorial is proud to work with these partners to lead innovative breakthroughs in cold ocean and harsh environment research.”
Dr. Gary Kachanoski
President and Vice-chancellor, Memorial University

“Our top priority is to reduce risk to our people and the environment. Having access to the Harsh Environment Research Facility and being able to collaborate with experts in the field will give us more opportunities to test systems and structures in conditions specific to our region. Consistent with our commitment to continual improvement, the more we learn about the environment in which we operate, the better we can optimize our logistics and asset deployment, providing for more timely and effective interventions.”
Trevor Pritchard
Senior Vice President Atlantic, Husky Energy

Learn more
The Way Forward on Technology

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster external link

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link and @TCII_GovNL external link

Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655
erichumber@gov.nl.ca

Paul McGrath
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
paul.mcgrath@canada.ca

Jackey Locke
Memorial University
709-864-8287
jackey.locke@mun.ca

Kim Guttormson
Husky Energy
403-298-7088
kim.guttormson@huskyenergy.com

2019 08 27                                                    12:55 p.m.