Fredericton, N.B., April 9, 2009 — The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science & Technology) and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, is in Fredericton today to announce the signing of three landmark collaborative research projects between the National Research Council (NRC) and the Department of National Defence (DND).
The projects, which involve high-tech applications in laser interface, speech-based interaction and augmented reality, will improve military training tactics for Canadian troops and create more business opportunities for innovative companies in New Brunswick.
"This research collaboration will create new software technologies that will provide our troops with access to the best training tools possible," said Minister Ashfield. "The Government is investing $5.1 billion in science and technology this year alone in Canada's Economic Action Plan. This investment will contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy for New Brunswick while building a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology."
Research in these areas with help develop technology that simulates complex training environments for troops that minimize risk and lower costs.
"The Government of Canada is proud to provide its men and women in uniform with the cutting-edge technology they need to help troops better prepare for complex missions," said Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway Peter Gordon MacKay.
"Investing in research and development is crucial for developing highly skilled people and improving the long-term competitiveness of Canadian firms," said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of NRC. "This is a prime example of research that focuses on developing a cluster of excellence in advanced learning technologies in the Province of New Brunswick."
About the National Research Council (NRC) and Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown
Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada's National Research Council (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology. NRC operates world-class research facilities as well as information, technology and innovation support networks from coast to coast.
NRC's Institute for Information Technology (NRC-IIT) is one of NRC's 20 research institutes. It conducts scientific research, develops technology, creates knowledge and supports innovation, and operates facilities in four Canadian cities: Fredericton, Moncton, Gatineau and Ottawa.
CFB Gagetown is the largest military training facility in Eastern Canada, contributing more than $600 million annually to the New Brunswick economy. CFB Gagetown's partnership with NRC-IIT translates into more jobs and continued exploration of new and existing technologies, furthering New Brunswick's identity as a leader in advanced technology development and collaborative research.
For more information, please visit NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca or contact:
National Research Council Canada
Tel.: 613-991-1431 or 613-990-1572
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Minister of State's Office