EDMONTON, ALBERTA, May 8, 2009— On behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, along with Doug Elinski, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Calder, today announced investments totalling $6.8 million for two projects at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
The investments are part of the Government of Canada’s two-year, $2-billion plan to repair and expand research and educational facilities at Canadian colleges and universities. The program is helping to provide economic stimulus and promote employment by creating jobs for engineers, architects, tradespeople and technicians. It is also helping to generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canada’s colleges and universities at the forefront of scientific advancement.
“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in these projects at NAIT because we recognize NAIT’s role in building a skilled workforce, driving innovation and business competitiveness, and increasing productivity here in Alberta,” said Minister Ambrose. “We must all work together to ensure that innovation is a true competitive advantage for Canada to create new jobs, improve the quality of life for Canadians, and build a stronger economy for the future.”
“It’s great to have cooperation with both the provincial and federal governments for this important investment in Edmonton-Calder,” said Mr. Elinski. “It will help NAIT continue contributing to the future of our city and province.”
Central to Alberta’s Budget 2009 is Alberta’s Capital Plan, which supports $7.2 billion in 2009-10 and a record $23.2 billion over three years to build roads, health care facilities, schools and other public infrastructure. This year’s investment alone will support over 80,000 jobs across the economy directly benefitting Albertans and Alberta communities. This capital investment complements the provincial government’s four-point plan for economic recovery, which calls for keeping an eye on spending, using savings to protect programs and services for Albertans while keeping taxes low, continuing to invest in infrastructure, and promoting the province on the world stage.
NAIT was awarded a total of $6.8 million for two separate projects. The Window Replacement project will help NAIT upgrade facilities to improve the quality of their teaching and training facilities. NAIT will also be receiving funding towards their Alternative Energy Centre to maintain their excellent track record in the field of alternative energy, assist in meeting the power needs of the campus and providing new training opportunities for students in the Power Engineering program.
“NAIT has long been a leader in alternative energy technology like fuel cell applied research, so today's funding for an alternative energy lab with the latest fuel cell, solar panels, wind turbine and an Organic Rankin unit, is going to allow us to expand our expertise in training powerengineers and conducting applied research,” said Dr. Sam Shaw, NAIT's President and CEO. “This is a great opportunity for NAIT to create a centre of excellence in renewable energy and represents the government's significant investment in science and technology.”
Canada’s Economic Action Plan sets out to stimulate the Canadian economy over the next two years and to improve our long-term competitiveness through $12 billion in new infrastructure investment, which includes the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. This new support is the next substantive investment in the Government of Canada’s multi-year Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage.
For more information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, including program criteria, application instructions and a list of the approved projects to date, please visit www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.