Research Nova Scotia announces new student research challenges

Halifax, NS – Research Nova Scotia is announcing two new student research challenges designed to inspire student researchers with exceptional potential who are engaged in various research disciplines at post-secondary institutions across Nova Scotia.

“By starting with what we want to accomplish, and convening a coalition of collaborators, we strive to demonstrate what we mean by doing research differently while helping address provincial challenges,” says Stefan Leslie, CEO of Research Nova Scotia.

DATA CHALLENGE: How can we better connect researchers to community?

Nova Scotia is home to many talented researchers whose expertise spans various fields and disciplines. Currently, there is no simple method to search for researchers specializing in any given subject in the province. Research Nova Scotia and Volta want to change that.

“Our vision is a solution that provides a way to better connect researchers to the people who want to access their findings, such as decision makers, industry professionals, or entrepreneurs, in a way that reduces the burden on institutions, and helps promote Nova Scotia research to partners and potential investors,” says Leslie.

Research Nova Scotia and Volta are seeking an informative, easy-to-maintain solution, not a cumbersome database. If an organization, company, or government official is looking for an expert in a given field, they should be able to find one quickly.

GLASS CHALLENGE: How can we economically re-use glass?

Research Nova Scotia, Scotia Recycling, and Divert NS are seeking innovative ideas for glass reuse and recycling in Nova Scotia.

With plastics increasingly becoming a focal point for waste reduction movements, even targeted by governments for outright bans, many consumers are turning to glass as a safer and more environmentally friendly package option. But glass jars and other glass products can be challenging to recycle in Nova Scotia with limited local markets. The product is heavy, breaks easily, and has few applications locally. It is also heavy when packaged for export, meaning high shipping costs if sent to other jurisdictions to be used.

Nova Scotia’s engineering, manufacturing, and sustainability research capacity is strong. By tapping into the expertise of the province’s research community, the aim is to find improved alternate uses for waste glass and reduce human impact on the environment through efficiency and waste reduction.

Student challenge participation is open to undergraduate and graduate students from universities and colleges across Nova Scotia. For more information or to apply please visit


“Diversion of waste glass is only effective if there are viable end uses that reuse or recycle the product. Glass end markets are difficult to find locally, which puts a strain on the whole recycling system. A new end-market for waste glass would be beneficial for all stakeholders in Nova Scotia.”
– Jeff MacCallum, CEO, Divert NS

 “Investing in students is key to our future, in terms of innovation, resources and success. We have worked hand in hand with Divert NS since 1996 diverting waste from landfills by promoting recycling in communities.”
– Norm Mensour, CEO Scotia Recycling

“It’s incredibly important to invest in the growth of our post-secondary community, which is thriving in Nova Scotia. Students are increasingly becoming the innovators and entrepreneurs of our tech ecosystem, and this challenge will give them a platform to showcase ideas, and the foundation to translate those ideas into products. This initiative is also an important step in connecting researchers to our regional startup community.”
– Martha Casey, CEO, Volta

Stephanie Reid
Director, Marketing & Communications
Research Nova Scotia

About Scotia Recycling
Since 1976, Scotia Recycling Limited has been leading the way in recycling in Atlantic Canada. Now, more than ever, increasing awareness around environmental stewardship and sustainability, the imperative for waste reduction, and the creation of new, more environmentally friendly products, are all factors propelling the Company towards its next phase of substantial growth.

About Divert NS
Divert NS is a not‐for‐profit corporation working in partnership with Nova Scotians to improve the province’s environment and economy through recycling and waste diversion. Divert NS administers two core programs for used beverage container and tire recycling; manages a network of province‐wide Enviro‐Depots; and works together with government, industry, and academia to fund research and champion recycling. We believe Nova Scotia is a model for recycling and we advocate on its behalf worldwide.

About Research Nova Scotia
Research Nova Scotia is an independent, not-for-profit corporation with the mandate to support, organize and co-ordinate the funding of research in Nova Scotia. RNS was established to enhance research capacity, as well as align research funding, with provincial priorities and promotes a mission-oriented research ecosystem to help solve Nova Scotia’s biggest challenges.

About Volta
Volta, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the largest innovation hub east of Montreal. Focused on creating a space where members of the regional innovation ecosystem can work, connect and grow, Volta provides access to Co-Working Space, programming, mentorship, resources and events. Volta has been home to more than 100 startup companies through the Volta Residency program. This program has created more than 300 jobs and raised a combined total of over $100-million in equity financing. Learn more at