New Brunswick academic institutions helping drive digital transformation

News release

May 6, 2022 · Moncton, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Supporting digital transformation across all sectors of the economy is key to Canada’s economic recovery. Post-secondary institutions and colleges will play a crucial role in fueling an innovation ecosystem and talent development while building the digital economy of tomorrow. This will help prepare workers for the jobs of the future, support business growth and attract investments right here in Canada.

University programming will support talent development

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a total investment of $3,958,000 for two projects to help drive digital transformation in New Brunswick.

ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution of $1,958,000 to Université de Moncton (UMoncton), as well as a non-repayable contribution of $2 million to the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to help the institutions hire resources to increase enrollment and experiential learning for their Computer Science programs.

Expanding these programs will allow more students to connect with local businesses to gain experiential learning, accelerate the development of digital skills and talent in the province, and complement the newly established McKenna Institute for Digital Transformation in New Brunswick.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing in an inclusive workforce and equipping people with the skills and knowledge they need to take advantage of new opportunities and jobs in Atlantic Canada. 


“We are committed to driving economic growth in Atlantic Canada by supporting strategic partnerships between industry and academic institutions like UNB and UMoncton. By focusing on digital programming linked closely to industry needs, we are supporting the training of skilled workers and helping move Atlantic Canada’s digital economy forward.”

-  The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“As we emerge from a challenging two years and industry modernizes to increase productivity and remain competitive, it’s more important than ever to invest in projects that support innovation and the development of digital talent. They are key to ensuring a prosperous economy for all and advancing a higher standard of living throughout our region.”

Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

"With this announcement, we expect to be able to attract talent to various existing programs and meet society's needs in artificial intelligence, data science, robotics, by offering training entirely in French."

- Dr. Denis Prud'homme, President and Vice-Chancellor, Université de Moncton

“The needs and requirements of our knowledge-based economy continue to expand while the demand for highly skilled graduates who will be future innovators and changemakers has never been higher. Thanks to the generous support from ACOA, UNB will substantially increase the number of computer science graduates who will help solve the jobs gap challenge facing New Brunswick and also assist local businesses to compete across global markets.”

Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New Brunswick

Quick facts

  • Created in 1991, UMoncton’s Computer Science department is a key partner in the scientific and technological development of the region.

  • UNB's Computer Science Co-Op program offers about 300 student placements at approximately 75 companies in the region per year. The connection to businesses and hands-on experience that this program offers are factors that attract students from around the globe to come study and work in New Brunswick.

  • The McKenna Institute at UNB fuels economic growth and social progress by advancing the use of digital technologies in New Brunswick. The Institute works with partners to accelerate talent development, nurture ideas and enable all New Brunswick communities to thrive in a digital world.

  • Funding for this project is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • ACOA’s investment in the Université de Moncton will see:

    o   a doubling of the enrollment in the university’s computer science undergraduate and graduate programs;

    o   a tripling of artificial intelligence technology transfer to industry; and

    o   support to increase the attraction of international francophone students to ensure that we equip our official language minority communities with the talent of the future. 

  • ACOA’s investment in the University of New Brunswick will see:

    o   a doubling of the enrollment of UNB’s Computer Science undergraduate program; and

    o   a tripling of its Computer Science graduate enrollment in existing programs.

  • Both institutions will increase the capacity of their co-operative education and applied research programs. This will ensure that every graduate is offered the experiential learning opportunities needed to be workforce-ready. 


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Ann Kenney
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Heather Campbell
Director of Communications
University of New Brunswick

Nathalie Cormier
Acting Director, Communications
Université de Moncton

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