Yukon College Home News Archives YRC receives funding from CanNor and Yukon government to support research for commercialization

YRC receives funding from CanNor and Yukon government to support research for commercialization

September 17, 2013

Yukon mines are one step closer to improving their operation efficiency with an innovative water treatment technology. Researchers at the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) are developing this new technology that can be utilized locally and globally with the potential of commercialization.

This project is one of six research commercialization projects that have received support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Economic Development, Yukon government, through Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) and Technology Innovation of the Yukon Research Centre.

CanNor and Economic Development are together investing over $380,000 with an additional $254,000 from proponents for a total of over $635,000 towards research commercialization.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting a strong and diversified northern economy,” said Ryan Leef, Yukon Member of Parliament, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Minister for the Arctic Council. “Support for these projects will enable Cold Climate Innovation to collaborate with local businesses to commercialize their innovative ideas. Our government recognizes that supporting research and innovation in the early stages of development can lead to new business and export opportunities while also building the scientific capacity of the region.”

“These projects will advance practical solutions for challenges close to home and they will promote Yukon ingenuity and invention to larger markets,” Yukon Economic Development Minister Currie Dixon said. “By investing in new technologies, the Government of Yukon continues to support a diversified and sustainable economy that will provide opportunities for Yukoners for years to come.”

Zakus Farms is one of the proponents who will be using a portion of the funding to develop a small-scale biochar production system to support the growing use of biochar in agricultural and mining applications. Biochar is a product that results from the oxygen limited heating of various biological ingredients, such as wood, fish or animal bone. If successful, the development of this product will be used for a larger mobile version that would be deployed to new and existing mine sites to produce biochar for reclamation purposes.

“This funding assistance is extremely helpful to Zakus Farms in realizing its ambition to bring the commercial and ecological benefits of biochar production and use to the Yukon”, said Warren Zakus, Zakus Farms.

“Yukon College is committed to expanding northern research and innovation opportunities and it is through these partnerships that we are able to move research towards commercialization”, said Paul Flaherty, Board Chair, Yukon College. “These six projects illustrate our ability to work with Yukoners to address northern challenges with solutions that benefit our environment, economy and communities.”


The six projects include:
• installation and monitoring of a solar/diesel hybrid generator at remote telecommunications sites  with Northwestel
• research into the use of biochar in mine reclamation with Laberge Environmental Services
• small-scale biochar production system with Zakus Farms
• mining industry recycled water treatment with the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle at Yukon Research Centre
• research laboratory instrumentation with the Yukon Research Centre
• a walking tour mobile application available in a user selected language with Mid Arctic Technologies

Cold Climate Innovation is one of seven key programs at the Yukon Research Centre (YRC). The other six include: Biodiversity Monitoring, Northern Climate ExChange, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Mine Life Cycle, Technology Innovation, Science Adventures, and Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic. Core funding for the Yukon Research Centre is provided by Yukon Education and Yukon Economic Development.

Federal investment in this project is made possible through CanNor's Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program, which focuses on long-term economic growth, economic diversification and capacity-building across the North. SINED is one of several economic development programs within CanNor. CanNor works to help develop a diversified, sustainable and dynamic economy across Canada’s three territories and delivers on its northern mandate through funding programs, the Northern Projects Management Office and undertaking policy and research.


Tanis Davey
Communications Coordinator
Yukon Research Centre
College Relations

Erin Macpherson

Samantha Patterson
Communications Manager
Economic Development,
Government of Yukon