03/12/2013 04:27 EDT | Updated 05/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Ottawa sprinkles $20 million in research funds to combat terrorism and crime

OTTAWA - The federal government is distributing $20 million among more than two dozen science-and-technology projects to combat terrorism, crime and natural disasters.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the cash will help the country anticipate, prevent, mitigate and recover from emergencies.

The funding is spread among 26 private-sector, university and government proposals.

While National Defence plays a large role, Public Safety Canada is involved and the funding comes from the Canadian Safety and Security Program.

The projects receiving support include scanners used to detect nuclear materials in shielded cargo containers, something border agencies have asked for.

Defence Research and Development Canada, the research arm of the military, will explore ways to defend against wireless security threats.

Environment Canada is receiving cash to find a rapid, low-cost, environmentally friendly way of decontaminating critical infrastructure that's been contaminated with radiation from a potential dirty bomb.