NSERC gives Canada’s Centennial College $4 mn for e-textiles research

April 20, 2022 - Canada

Canada’s Centennial College and its partners have received $4 million in multi-year funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to develop products for the global e-textile market, as well as to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the transportation, food production, energy and advanced manufacturing sectors.

E-textiles integrate digital components such as biometric sensors, minicomputers and electronics into fabrics, giving them new capabilities in data collection, energy transfer and communications. E-textiles can monitor and communicate health data to inform treatment, enabling virtual care outside of hospital settings, which will be invaluable to the elderly and people living with chronic illness or disabilities, Centennial College said in a media release.

Centennial’s Technology Access Centre (WIMTACH) was the lead applicant for this award, partnering with Sheridan College, Humber College and the KITE Institute at the University Health Network. The project team will receive $2 million over two years, pooling the award along with their equipment and expertise to support SMEs in Toronto and across Canada. The colleges are members of the FabrIc-Based REsearch (FIBRE) network, the world’s first development/commercialisation platform for textile computing technologies led by UHN’s KITE, a leader in rehabilitation science.

“SMEs have requested support with issues facing the e-textile industry in Canada,” said Dr Purnima Tyagi, director, WIMTACH. “As strengthening employer relations is a key area of excellence for Centennial, this research collaboration will engage deeply with them to support business goals related to the design and manufacturing of e-textile components.”