NSERC Engage Research Grants Reduce Production Costs of Composite Materials
Eagle Graphite Inc. is a producer and processor of high-carbon flake graphite. The company’s graphite mine, located in British Columbia, provides high-quality flake graphite, which is commonly used to create advanced composite materials. Graphite has uses such as aerospace and automotive parts, sports equipment, and alternative-energy fuel cells.
The ability to manipulate this material in an innovative way has provided an opportunity for Eagle Graphite. Recently, the company was awarded up to $25,000 in NSERC Engage research grants to develop a cost-effective, scalable, and environmental method for producing multi-layered graphene.
In addition to being awarded research grants, Eagle Graphite will be able to access a team of university researchers and resources for up to 6 months. Dedicated resources and top research talent will enable Eagle to reduce graphite material costs and improve competitiveness.
About Eagle Graphite’s Successful NSERC Engage Research Project
Carbon fibre has a growing number of uses in modern society. The automotive industry is increasingly shifting towards lightweight vehicles, and renewable-energy fuel cells are using more sophisticated materials to increase storage abilities.
Graphite is one of the materials most demanded when developing carbon fibre composites.
In fact, up to 140,000 tonnes of graphite could be used each year if it was adopted among high-potential industries. The only factor keeping it from widespread market implementation is the high costs. If the material became cheaper to produce and sell to customers, it would be consumed at a much greater rate.
How NSERC Engage Research Grants Assisted Eagle Graphite
NSERC Engage grants support university-led research and development projects for up to 6 months at a time. The program provides up to $25,000 towards the collaborative R&D project involving a Canadian university, where researchers and their professor will carry out specific aspects of the research assignment. This is designed to speed the R&D process, or help overcome internal technical challenges.
Eagle Graphite partnered with Queen’s University from Kingston, Ontario to carry out the research project. Researchers from Queen’s will find a cost-effective way to delaminate graphite flakes so that it can be processed into graphene and used by various industries.
NSERC Engage Research and Development Grants
NSERC Engage offers small business grants for research involving a team of university professors and students. Research projects may receive up to $25,000 for a 4-6 month research project, and have the option to extend their research project for another 1-5 years through the follow-up NSERC CRD program.
To learn more about the collaborative research process and how to access government funding for it, please download the Business Guide to Industry-Academic Research Projects.