UAlberta receives $82.8-million infrastructure boost
Major federal and provincial investment will spur improvements to vital research facilities.
By MICHAEL BROWN
The University of Alberta received $82.8 million in infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial governments to improve the scale, quality and sustainability of 10 of its research and innovation facilities.
The investment, which includes $56.3 million from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and $26.5 million from the province, will help with the commercialization of spaces and enhance the environmental sustainability of post-secondary infrastructure. This combined contribution, along with an injection of $48 million from the private sector and the U of A, will support $132 million of renovation and construction projects over the next two years.
U of A projects funded
(SIF funding shown in parentheses)
“University infrastructure provides the literal foundation for teaching, learning and research. Our buildings, our classrooms, our labs and libraries, our campus IT networks—these give us the space, technology and equipment we need to teach our students and tackle some of the most challenging issues our society faces today,” said U of A President David Turpin.
SIF is a time-limited program that will provide up to $2 billion over the next three years to accelerate infrastructure projects at universities and colleges across Canada.
“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” said Hon. Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development. “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and startup companies into global successes. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive.”
For the U of A, the funding supports capital projects and renewal that will help maintain and improve current campus infrastructure, benefiting students and ensuring the province plays a key role in diversifying Canada’s economy and creating a more sustainable future.
For example, enhancing the university's Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Facility will put Alberta at the forefront of research in electrical power generation and transmission, while renewing labs at Campus Saint-Jean will triple the number of student spaces for increasingly needed bilingual health professionals.
“These significant investments maximize opportunities to increase student spaces in new, modernized learning environments that help students put their best foot forward, while also creating much-needed jobs to spur economic growth,” said Marlin Schmidt, Alberta’s minister of advanced education, who was on hand to make the announcement.