MP Chahal announces federal investment to enhance innovation and competitiveness of Alberta’s construction industry

News release

A back shot of a person wearing a hardhat in a manufacturing plant looking at machinery while holding a tablet, with text: “Over $2.5 million to spur innovations that improve efficiencies in Alberta’s construction industry.”

More than $2.5 million through PrairiesCan for a new centre to support the commercialization of novel construction technologies and solutions

August 22, 2023 – Calgary, Alberta – PrairiesCan

The construction industry is a major driver of Alberta’s economy, employing thousands of workers across the province and contributing billions in economic activity. Across Canada, this sector needs skilled talent to build the critical infrastructure, affordable housing, and facilities that Canadians use every day. The Government of Canada is making strategic investments in the construction industry to ensure its continued productivity, affordability and competitiveness.

Today, George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, on behalf of the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a federal investment of more than $2.5 million to enable the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) to establish the Alternative Construction Technologies Centre.

This new facility will bring together the manufacturing, automation and robotics, material science, and construction sectors to create innovative technologies used in the construction industry. It will be home to specialized equipment and laboratories that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to develop, test, and commercialize new products, processes and services. The result will be lower cost construction projects that can be completed faster, at a higher quality and with less environmental impact.

The Alternative Construction Technologies Centre will support approximately 50 small- and medium-sized firms, leading to approximately 50 new jobs and training for about 60 students and industry personnel over the next four years. It is expected to be fully operational by 2025.


“Through our collaboration with SAIT, our government is paving the way for small-and medium-sized firms to commercialize Alberta-made products that build housing and essential infrastructure quicker. Today’s investment will help spur innovation in the construction sector and ensure this vital economic driver remains a competitive and sustainable source of jobs for Alberta workers for years to come.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

“With our highly skilled workforce, world-class research institutions and innovative ecosystems, Canada is a global leader in developing the new technologies needed for tomorrow's construction industry.  This initiative with SAIT provides a space for collaboration and product development that is not only good for students and small and medium-sized enterprises, but also for the economic development of the Prairies.”
–The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“With the launch of the Alternative Construction Technologies Centre, SAIT is creating an exciting space for industry collaboration, education, and product development to help keep Alberta at the forefront of innovation in the construction sector. I’m proud that our government is investing in this project and helping to ensure that Calgary is home to the knowledge, resources and skills needed for Alberta’s construction sector to thrive.”
–George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview

“I have always said that technology is not just an industry, it is the future of every industry. This funding will ensure that Alberta’s construction industry thrives by using technology to solve problems in new ways. Investments like these will help make Alberta one of the most innovative provinces in Canada.”
–The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation, Government of Alberta 

“Advanced building materials, innovative construction methods, and alternative manufacturing and fabrication technologies are transforming the way we build in Alberta. SAIT is a strong collaborator and Alberta Innovates is pleased to provide support to the Alternative Construction Technologies Centre, through our Ecosystem Development Partnership program.”
–Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“This investment in smart manufacturing and materials will create vital new opportunities to collaborate with industry in their efforts to advance faster, greener and more affordable home construction. As a leading talent provider and one of Canada’s top five research colleges, SAIT is committed to supporting the ongoing transformation of manufacturing and industrial processes in the construction technology sector as a key driver of economic growth throughout the province.”
–Dr. David Ross, President and CEO, SAIT

Quick facts

  • PrairiesCan funding of $2,594,000 announced today is allocated through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program.

  • The RIE program creates and nurtures inclusive regional ecosystems that support businesses to innovate from start to finish.

  • Funding announced today is in addition to more than $3.69 million in PrairiesCan investment for SAIT since the beginning of 2022, including:

    • More than $1.4 million to support Canada’s first remotely piloted aviation training centre for heavy-lift drones training, maintenance, and certification.
    • $1.43 million to help commercialize emerging, high-growth potential clean technologies for Alberta’s energy sector.
    • $860,000 to help advance the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for environmental monitoring.

Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Prairies Economic Development Canada

Stay connected

Follow PrairiesCan on Twitter and LinkedIn

Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-9378
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 

Page details

Date modified: