Carrefour de l'actualité

NSERC Alliance Grants: Polytechnique Montréal ranks first, winning 24% of all funds awarded to Québec universities

February 25, 2021 - Source : NEWS

Polytechnique Montréal researchers have once again demonstrated their ability to kick start large-scale projects that have a concrete impact on the country’s citizens. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) recently announced its support of 20 Polytechnique-based projects as part of the Alliance Grants program. The latter translates into NSERC grants approaching $9.8 million -  making Polytechnique Montréal the most-funded Québec university under the Alliance Grant program.

Professor Philippe Pasquier's project entitled "Use of permanent geothermal standing column wells for the effective electrification of the institutional and commercial sectors" has also been selected for support via the NSERC Alliance Grant program.

Professor Philippe Pasquier's project entitled "Use of permanent geothermal standing column wells for the effective electrification of the institutional and commercial sectors" has also been selected for support via the NSERC Alliance Grant program.

NSERC Alliance Grants foster collaboration between university researchers and private, public, or non-profit sector partner organizations. Further, the grants support research projects that bring together complementary partners in order to generate new knowledge, and accelerate the application of research results for the benefit of all Canadians.

The 20 NSERC supported Polytechnique Montréal-based projects testify to the diversity and relevance of the institution’s expertise. Projects range in subject from aircraft cybersecurity to the implementation of geothermal energy in schools, the development of agricultural pesticides alternatives, the creation of a lunar rover, and the design of artificial intelligence personalized teeth, to highlight just a few of the notable research projects (a full list can be found below).

The $9.8 million in grants obtained by researchers enables Polytechnique Montréal to take a prized place among Québec universities, given that the engineering university has thus earned nearly a quarter, or 24.4 %, of the $40.1 million awarded by NSERC via the Alliance Grant Program. Polytechnique is the home of 18.5 % (20/108) of Québec-based NSERC-supported projects within this competition;

Across Canada, Polytechnique Montreal has no less than 8.3 % of the total budget of $117.3 million allocated by NSERC to Alliance grants. 20 of 414 NSERC Alliance Grants were awarded to researchers at Polytechnique Montréal, or 4.8% across Canada.

“The support provided by the NSERC Alliance Grant Program to Polytechnique Montreal researchers, truly highlights our intuitional objectives to lead research projects that meet society’s current and future needs. These research projects enable our university to train the engineers of tomorrow – superb quality engineers who are destined to become genuine agents of change in our ever-evolving world, " says Philippe A. Tanguy, Polytechnique Montréal President. 


The results of the first NSERC Alliance Grant competition bear witness to the dynamism of research at Polytechnique Montréal. Since June 1, 2018, the university has hired 57 professors, bringing its professorial and research staff to nearly 300 strong.

The growing number of Polytechnique Montréal-based researchers can only increase its scope and quality of research – a fact reinforced by a recent Stanford University study and article. According to the Stanford article, in 2019, 50 current and former Polytechnique Montréal researchers were among the top 2 % of most-cited researchers worldwide in their respective fields.

20 Awarded NSERC Alliance Grants


Project title

Area of application

 Funding amount

Abdellah Ajji

Sustainable, Safe and Smart Polymer Flexible Packaging

Manufacturing processes and products; Polymers, rubber and plastics


Giovanni Beltrame

Robust multi-robot localization and mapping

Surveying and photogrammetry


Daria Camilla Boffito

CO2 to jet-fuels technology platform

Energy resources (including production, exploration, processing, distribution and use); Engineering


Daria Camilla Boffito

Intensified extraction and recovery of critical minerals from ore tailings

Mineral resources (prospecting, exploration, mining, extraction, processing); Engineering


Michel Dagenais

Monitoring and Debugging of High Performance Distributed Heterogeneous Cloud Applications

Information, computer and communication technologies; Computer software


Jean Pierre David

Methods and tools for the development of explainable embedded artificial neural networks for autonomous transportation

Transport equipment; Electrical and electronic machinery and equipment (including computer hardware)


(to be confirmed)

José Manuel Fernandez

Cyber security of current and future aircraft

Aerospace; Information systems and technology


Frederick Gosselin

Digital Twins of hydroelectric generating units: AI insight from sensor data combined with physics-based simulation

Energy resources (including production, exploration, processing, distribution and use); Engineering


François Guibault

Deep learning approach to generate patient-specific teeth

Biomedical engineering; Human health (including medically-related psychological research)


Raman Kashyap

Advanced sources for QUantum information technologies and devices: ASQUID

Information systems and technology; Physical sciences


Sébastien Le Digabel

Numerical Optimization and Machine Learning

Advancement of knowledge; Communication systems and services (planning, organization, services)


Frederic Leblond

Intraoperative margin assessment technique for breast conserving surgery using Raman spectroscopy imaging

Biomedical engineering; Medical and health sciences


Thomas Pabst

Valorization of waste rocks in engineered cover systems to reclaim tailings storage facilities generating acid mine drainage

Waste, waste management and recycling; Mineral resources (prospecting, exploration, mining, extraction, processing)


Philippe Pasquier

Use of permanent geothermal standing column wells for the effective electrification of the institutional and commercial sectors  

Energy efficiency; Energy resources (including production, exploration, processing, distribution and use)


Michèle Prévost

Integrated management of Legionella risk in cooling towers by rapid detection, innovative treatment and prevention of transmission

Engineering; Environment


Eduardo Ruiz

Recycling carbon black from used tires for greener materials

Waste, waste management and recycling; Materials sciences


Ahmad Shakibaeinia

Fully-Lagrangian three-dimensional modelling of river ice jam initiation

Water; Environment


Jason Robert Tavares

Project DeNETer  - Polymer nets with absorbent properties: combining exclusion with biological control, confusion and repulsion of pests

Agriculture and primary food production; Agricultural chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides)


Daniel Therriault

Development of a scalable and efficient lightning strike protection system for composite aircraft

Transport equipment; Aerospace


Daniel Therriault

Design and advanced manufacturing of a lunar rover using thermoplastic composites

Manufacturing processes and products; Space and astronomy


Learn more

NSERC Alliance grants website


Suggested Reading

May 7, 2024

Innovative small modular reactors: The Government of Canada awards funding to a Polytechnique Montréal research project

November 18, 2020

Geothermal energy: newly-launched project will bring enviro-energy production to Québec schools faster