Government of Canada research award draws green chemistry "star" to Canada

McGill’s Dr. Robin Rogers will look to develop new green chemicals for Canadian agricultural, industry and energy needs

September 29, 2014—Montreal, Quebec—Chairs Secretariat

The Harper Government has demonstrated its commitment to attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers with today’s announcement of the new Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals.

On behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Senator Larry Smith was at McGill University today to introduce Dr. Robin Rogers, one of the world’s most renowned and respected green chemists, as Canada Excellence Research Chair in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals. Dr. Rogers has come to Canada from The University of Alabama, where he was the Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry and director of the Center for Green Manufacturing.

Since its launch in 2008, the CERC program has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice for research and development, and continues to attract and retain world-leading researchers.

Quick facts

  • This is McGill University’s second CERC. The first, Dr. Luda Diatchenko, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Personalized Pain Medicine, was announced in September 2013.
  • McGill University will receive up to $10 million in funding over seven years to support Dr. Rogers and his team’s ambitious research program. An additional $797,963 will be provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation for research infrastructure.
  • Dr. Rogers’ work will focus on the design and development of new products from renewable polymers, trying to move towards more sustainable consumption. His research is geared towards providing high-quality alternatives that are cheaper, last longer, and are made in a sustainable way.
  • With this announcement, there are now 21 CERC chairs in place at 15 universities across the country.
  • The CERC program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It is administered by the Chairs Secretariat, which is housed within SSHRC.


“Our government is focused on developing, attracting, and retaining world-leading researchers through record investments in science, technology and innovation. As a new Canada Excellence Research Chair at McGill University, Dr. Robin Rogers will spur innovation and the search for biorenewable resources. With a proven entrepreneurial track record, Dr. Rogers will look to apply his green research discoveries to meet the needs of Canada’s agriculture, industry and energy sectors.”

Ed Holder
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Our government is committed to creating jobs, opportunities, and to improving the quality of life of Canadians through investments in science, technology and innovation. Through the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, Dr. Rogers will help train the next generation of Canadian students and researchers while developing new green innovations for Montreal’s private sector.”

Larry Smith
Senator (Saurel)

“Robin Rogers is not only a world-renowned researcher; he is also an exceptional leader and mentor. His arrival in Canada will be of immense benefit to Canadian students, as he trains the green chemists of tomorrow, and provides them with international connections and a vision of a greener and more sustainable future.”

Ted Hewitt
Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

“Dr. Rogers is a globally recognized leader in environmental sciences and technologies, one of the priority areas for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs. He and his new team at McGill University are poised to make significant contributions to the creation of the next generation of sustainable biomaterials. His work offers great promise for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical manufacturing industries across the country.”

Janet Walden
Chief Operating Officer, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

“Attracting top talent such as Dr. Rogers boosts Canada’s reputation as a global leader in research, development and innovation. As McGill’s newest faculty member, Dr. Rogers will be equipped with advanced tools and infrastructure that will improve his game-changing green chemistry research, which will translate into new and sustainable chemical processes that will benefit Canadian industries while protecting the country’s environment.”

Gilles Patry
President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Robin Rogers, an internationally recognized leader, to Montreal and to our university. Professor Rogers is a trailblazer and role model for the next generation of researchers, developing sustainable biomaterials that are positive for the environment and the economy. McGill has long pioneered in a range of Green Chemistry-related research, including the development of inherently safer solvents for chemical reactions and processes. Professor Rogers will spearhead efforts to redesign chemicals, materials, and manufacturing technologies to prevent pollution and save energy.”

Suzanne Fortier
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University

Additional links


Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Honourable Ed Holder
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Tel.: 613-943-6177

Michael Adams
Communications Adviser
Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program
Tel: 613-944-1758

Michael Bhardwaj
Media Relations Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Tel: 613-943-5346

Chris Chipello
Senior Communications Officer
McGill University
Tel: 514-398-4201