Cascades and UQTR, partners in innovation!

Cascades and UQTR won top honours with the “Célébrons le partenariat” award, presented by ADRIQ.

For the past several months, Cascades and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) have been working together on an unusual project. It’s a rather surprising association: the pulp and paper sector is teaming up with podiatry in a research program that involves developing a bioactive podiatry product made from wood fibre. Here are some more details about the collaborative research project.

The research project

The partnership consists in creating a foot care product that combines cellulose (a component found in paper) with antimicrobial peptides (naturally existing proteins with antibiotic properties) to control the pathogens that cause infections in diabetic foot ulcers. The podiatry product will take the shape of an insole made from a cellulose matrix provided by Cascades.

Several key figures have contributed to the project, including Simon Barnabé, professor in the Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics Department at UQTR; the team from Innofibre at Cégep de Trois-Rivières; and the Podiatry Clinic at UQTR. Additional collaborators include UQTR professors Vincent Cantin from the Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Lyne Cloutier from the Department of Nursing. Project collaborators from Cascades include Dr Marie-Hélène Charest, microbiologist at Cascades Research and Development; Alexandre Caron, Plant Manager; Stéphanie Morin, Production Manager at the Cascades Papier Kingsey Falls mill and Dr Roger Gaudreault, Corporate Director, Scientific Development.

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The project was made possible with funding from the Lemaire family foundation, as well as other partners, including the Podiatry Clinic at UQTR, the Consortium de recherche et innovation en bioprocédés industriels au Québec (CRIBIQ), the Fondation UQTR, the Association des podiatres du Québec, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQ-FRQS) and MITACS.

Innovation at Cascades

Our Company, which works non-stop to create new products, has had its own Research and Development Centre since 1985. As you can see, innovation is at the heart of our strategy. We constantly seek to diversify our offer, and hygiene is an area that we know well. In fact, since 2010, Cascades has chosen to develop a niche market in antibacterial products. In addition, this extensive and clearly structured project will most certainly allow us to move ahead with innovation, which was why we found the research project with UQTR so appealing!

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Let’s celebrate the partnership

In May 2014, Cascades and UQTR won top honours with the “Célébrons le partenariat” (Let’s celebrate the partnership) award, presented by the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ). ADRIQ’s “Let’s celebrate the partnership” event aims to recognize successful technological collaborations between researchers and businesses in Québec.

We wish to encourage the whole research team as it works to develop this new product, and we are convinced that the results will exceed expectations. We look forward to presenting it to you! Stay tuned!

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About the Author
Roger Gaudreault

Roger Gaudreault has a BSc in Chemistry from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, a Master’s degree in Pulp and Paper from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and a PhD in molecular modelling from McGill University. He also did postdoctoral research in the field of kinetics of colloids aggregation as applied to pulp and paper. With more than 25 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry, Roger is the Corporate Director, Scientific Development, at Cascades Inc., where he directed the Research and Development Centre for close to 20 years. There he spearheaded two North American research and development consortia. Roger was a member of the team that developed the innovation management system at Cascades Canada ULC, and went on to lead its implementation. In June 2011, Dr. Gaudreault joined the Centre in Green Chemistry and Catalysis (CGCC), becoming the CGCC’s first industrial member.

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