Since its beginnings in 1982, Survival Systems Training Ltd. has become a world leader in the design and creation of simulators to help people survive flights that crash into - or have to ditch over - water.
Much of its expertise is with rotary wing/helicopter simulators, but now the company is seeking to expand its range with the creation of a full-scale seaplane simulator.
To do this, the company is working closely with Dalhousie University mechanical engineering professor Darrel Doman. The goal is to increase the odds for occupants to safely exit a seaplane if it crashes.
Together Doman and Survival Systems will work to gather key information needed for the company to develop the first full-scale simulator that can mimic the impact of a seaplane crashing on water. The first step in the project will use a crash-test dummy to create a detailed picture of the impact of a crash on an individual occupant.
"As a company that's been committed to R&D since our beginnings in 1982, we're really pleased to kick-off a new collaboration with Dalhousie University with this project with Dr. Doman," says John Swain, CEO of Survival Systems Training Ltd.
Paving the way for the project is a six-month Engage Grant from the Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which will provide Doman with up to $25,000 to assist his research.
This marks the 1,000th Engage Grant provided by the NSERC. In the last year, Canadian companies have used Engage Grants in increasing numbers to connect with university researchers and solve short-term research and development (R&D) challenges. Suzanne Fortier, president of the NSERC, says the grants are enabling Canada's economy to innovate and grow.
"Engage Grants help increase corporate R&D by fostering new relationships between researchers and the private sector and allowing the participants to explore the potential for a longer-term partnership," Fortier says. "The Engage Grants were created to be responsive to the needs and timelines of the business community. The strong response we have had from business shows the formula works."
"This project is a great example of putting our research and development resources to work solving a very practical problem," says Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for Science and Technology. "This type of partnership creates jobs and economic growth while new products and services enhance the quality of life for all Canadians."
"Two years after the launch of this exciting new strategy, we're very pleased Dalhousie University is involved in this milestone 1,000th Engage Grant," says Tom Traves, president of Dalhousie University.
More than 90 per cent of companies that have been involved in an Engage project report they gained new knowledge and/or technology that helped them improve their existing products or develop new ones. Seventy-five per cent report new business opportunities developed as a result of the collaboration.
The Engage Grants initiative was launched in 2010 and is designed to provide a fast, easy and low-risk response to a company's R&D problems. It provides funding of up to $25,000 to an academic researcher for a six-month research project with a company the researcher has not previously worked with. The project must address a company-specific problem. Since the program's launch, more than 845 individual companies have worked with researchers under NSERC partnership programs.