Government of Canada invests in post-secondary infrastructure in Alberta

News Release

$56-million investment will create jobs, expand research and foster innovation

September 8, 2016 – Edmonton, Alberta – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada values the role of post-secondary institutions as they help equip young Canadians with the education and training they need for future careers that will help them join a strong, healthy middle class. Today's $56-million investment at the University of Alberta will do just that by fostering the training needed for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow.

The funding was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action and will help create the well-paying middle-class jobs of tomorrow.

The Government's $56-million contribution will support $132 million of renovation and construction projects over the next two years. This investment will fund 10 separate projects that will keep the University of Alberta on the cutting edge of research and innovation. In addition to the Government of Canada contribution to these projects, the Province of Alberta is investing more than $26 million, the institution is injecting close to $48 million and other contributors are providing $1.2 million.

Of these investments, $25 million will go to the university's Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Facility to create new lab space for cutting-edge research in the fields of biomedical devices and electrical power generation and transmission. The project will also involve the creation of critical innovation, commercialization and incubation spaces, establishing a platform to engage industry partners.

A separate lab renewal project will modernize and triple the amount of space for teaching and research at Campus Saint-Jean, the only French-language university campus west of Manitoba. This will provide capacity for 440 additional undergraduate students in the sciences and help address a growing need for bilingual health professionals.

A $3.5-million project will create an innovation and business incubator space. This facility will enhance research and commercialization opportunities at the University of Alberta and improve the success of start-up ventures.

In total, universities and colleges throughout Alberta will receive more than $500 million from the Government of Canada, the provincial government, the institutions themselves and private donors. Federal funding will be allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country's best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for—and create—the high-value, middle-class jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.


"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. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up 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."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Our government is proud to work in partnership with the federal government to strengthen Alberta's advanced learning opportunities. Through these investments, we're not only contributing to new student spaces; we're also protecting and maintaining the facilities we already have and creating much-needed jobs to stimulate and grow Alberta's economy."

– The Honourable Marlin Schmidt, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education

"On behalf of the University of Alberta, I want to thank the Government of Canada for its investment. The Strategic Investment Fund will enable the U of A to develop vital infrastructure, which provides the foundation for teaching, learning and research. Canada's universities drive innovation and economic prosperity across the country, and SIF will provide important benefits for all Canadians."

– Dr. David H. Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing more than $225 million for research infrastructure at institutions across Alberta. The University of Alberta has been awarded $56 million for 10 projects.
  • The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada's universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada's climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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