U of S Innovation Enterprise, IMII announce results from North America’s first ™AIMday

SASKATOON — For the first time, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has helped match provincial post-secondary researchers with Saskatchewan mining companies in an innovative approach to solving industry issues.

The IE and IMII jointly hosted the event at the Innovation Place, which was focused on finding solutions to a wide variety of mining sector questions and issues, ranging from less reliance on fossil fuels and more green energy sources for the industry, to developing new methods of detecting potential pipeline breaks before they occur.

“The aim is to identify pathways to innovative solutions, and we are excited that there were some very promising solutions put forward,” said IE Managing Director Johannes Dyring, who has joined the U of S from Sweden where he had seen the impact of these collaborative events firsthand.

Researchers from the U of S, University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic met with representatives of five companies in the mining sector (Agrium, Cameco Corporation, K+S Potash Canada, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., and The Mosaic Company) to discuss innovative solutions to industry issues.

“We know that innovation is critical to advancing our economy, so we look forward to learning more about the research and development opportunities for the mineral sector, identified through AIMday Minerals 2017,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Jeremy Harrison said. “Our province is the world’s largest producer of potash and a top supplier of uranium, and the Government of Saskatchewan is committed to fostering research, development and technology transfer to advance this sector and grow Saskatchewan’s economy.”

The researchers (listed below) each received an initial $1,000 grant to develop preliminary project proposals to address specific industry challenges. Upon successful submission of the proposals, the researchers will receive up to an additional $5,000 to further advance collaborations with industry.

“This was a great opportunity for both researchers to interact with industry representatives and hear firsthand about their challenges and for the minerals industry to identify researchers who may be able to help advance innovations, through research and development, that matter to industry,” said IMII Executive Director Al Shpyth. “This is more important than ever in today’s mining environment.”

The following researchers were selected to deliver preliminary research proposals by June 2, 2017:






Paul Hughes

Civil & Geological Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Stephen Foley


University of Saskatchewan

Shahid Azam

Environmental Systems Engineering

University of Regina

Won Jae Chang

Civil and Geological Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Heather Wilson

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac)

University of Saskatchewan

Gordon Huang and Chunjiang An

Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities

University of Regina

Travis Wiens

Mechanical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Travis Wiens and Paul Hughes

Mechanical Engineering and Civil & Geological Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Terry Peckham, Kelvin Boechler, Cyril Coupal, CJ Pelletier, Tim Muench // Paul Hughes

Office of Applied Research & Innovation, Digital Integration Research Group, Geomatics and Surveying Engineering, CAD/CAM & Mechanical Engineering Technology // Civil & Geological Engineering

Saskatchewan Polytechnic //

University of Saskatchewan

Hussameldin Ibrahim

Industrial & Process Systems Engineering

University of Regina

Paul Hughes, Doug Milne, Travis Wiens

Civil & Geological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Lorna Butler

International Centre for Northern Governance & Development

University of Saskatchewan

Terry Peckham, Tim Muench, Cyril Coupal and Kelvin Boechler

Office of Applied Research & Innovation, Digital Integration Research Group, CAD/CAM & Mechanical Engineering Technology

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Stan Yu

International Centre for Northern Governance & Development

University of Saskatchewan

Carey Simonson

Mechanical Engineering

University of Saskatchewan

Stephanie Young

Environmental Systems Engineering

University of Regina

Amr Henni

Process & Industrial Systems Engineering

University of Regina


The event received financial support under the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Connect Grant program. The program provides targeted financial support to encourage post-secondary researchers to connect with industry and form new partnerships. Innovation Saskatchewan and IMII are providing the grant funding to encourage quick follow-up to the promising partnerships that arose from AIMday.


About AIMday:

AIMday was originally initiated and successfully developed by Uppsala University in Sweden. The meeting day is structured around research and development questions submitted by companies. These questions form the basis for company-led discussions with academics from various disciplines. A structured one-hour discussion around each question allows for industry representatives and academics to assess whether they can work together to find a solution to the challenge presented by the company.

The U of S, through IE, has initiated and signed a collaboration agreement with Uppsala University with the purpose to implement the internationally acclaimed and highly successful concept. AIMday events have been organized by many universities, including the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Innovation Enterprise plans to host AIMdays periodically, targeting different sectors. For more information on AIMday visit: aimday.se

About Innovation Enterprise:
The U of S Innovation Enterprise (IE), formerly the Industry Liaison Office, manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from the university’s comprehensive research enterprise. In striving for excellence and engaging in growing the local and global entrepreneurial ecosystem, IE maximizes the impact of knowledge-intensive innovations. For more information, visit our website: research.usask.ca/ie


About IMII:
The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) is a unique innovation supporting a network of mining companies, government departments and agencies, and post-secondary institutions, jointly funded by industry and government. It exists to deliver innovations that matter to mining in Saskatchewan.


For more information, contact:

Johannes Dyring
Managing Director
Innovation Enterprise
University of Saskatchewan
Email: Johannes.Dyring@usask.ca306-966-7829


Al Shpyth
Executive Director
International Minerals Innovation Institute
Email: al.shpyth@imii.ca306-668-2057

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