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Water in lake splashing up

New federal funding will help bring to market technologies that can harness the power in lakes, rivers, streams and oceans, without needing to build dams

New funding to help bring technologies to market

July 29, 2015 — 

A University of Manitoba researcher developing a revolutionary turbine has received a boost to his research program thanks to new federal funding announced today.

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, visited the Fort Garry campus on July 29 to announce that two U of M projects will receive a total of $2.3 million from the Western Economic Diversification Fund.

Mechanical engineering professor Eric Bibeau will receive $500,000 to support his research testing hydrokinetic turbines. These turbines capture the energy in free-flowing water. Though still in its infancy, this technology has the potential to transform how we produce hydroelectricity: Rivers and streams, crashing waves, ocean tides, all become potential candidates for energy production, without the need for expensive dams or ecosystem-altering reservoirs.

This new funding will allow Bibeau to purchase new equipment that will help him bring this technology to market, creating economic opportunities in remote communities and opening the global marine energy market to Canadians.

Darren Fast, Director of the U of M’s Technology Transfer Office, oversees the other funded project, which will receive $1,801,749 in funding on behalf of the Western Canadian Innovation Offices Consortium (WCIO), which consists of universities, colleges, and polytechnics. Its mandate is to collaborate with each other and industry to address the energy needs of industry through strategic research investments.

“Partnerships with industry and government not only increase the research enterprise at the University of Manitoba, but also at our partner institutions in Manitoba—and across Canada,” says Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba. “I congratulate Drs. Bibeau and Fast on their success in obtaining these funds.”

“Our Government is proud to support the unique work being done by the University of Manitoba,” said The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Today’s investments speak to the talent of the faculty and researchers of all project partners and our support will help drive commercial opportunities that will create jobs and growth while bringing new products and services to market.”

“Our Government is committed to bringing some of the world-class research conducted here in Manitoba from the lab to the marketplace,” said Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre. “By supporting the work being accomplished at the University of Manitoba, our Government is helping to strengthen our region’s capacity for innovation while creating jobs and economic growth.”


The Western Canadian Innovation Consortium is currently made up of the following organizations:

British Columbia Institute of Technology
Camosun College
College of New Caledonia
Innovate Calgary
Justice Institute of BC
Langara College
Lethbridge College
Mount Royal University
North Island College
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Red River College
SAIT Polytechnic
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Selkirk College, West Kootney & Boundary Region
TEC Edmonton
Thompson Rivers University
University College of the North
University of British Columbia ILO
University of Northern British Columbia
University of Regina
University of Saskatchewan
University of Winnipeg
Vancouver Community College


Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.


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