Lethbridge College receives $6.79 million in federal funding for innovative new infrastructure


    New infrastructure funding will allow Lethbridge College to create a flexible, modular innovation space that will benefit students, faculty and industry by providing real-world research opportunities in all disciplines.

    Lethbridge College will receive $6.79 million for two projects under the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF).

    A total of $6.44 million of that funding will go towards the development of a 7,000 square foot innovation space in the second phase of the college’s new trades and technologies facility. The facility will welcome its first students in August and the innovation space, which will include a wet lab, a social science observation lab and a collaboration space, will be ready for use by spring 2018.

    “Lethbridge College is grateful for the generous funding by the federal government’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and its partnership with the Government of Alberta,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “This fall, the college is opening the largest trades and technologies training facility south of Calgary and the SIF funding will be used to develop an innovation space that will enable students, faculty and industry professionals to do applied research that can have direct impact on regional economic and social sustainability in a wide range of disciplines.”

    An additional $350,000 in funding will be used to upgrade the power supply in the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence, allowing the facility to install new equipment to test industrial designs and support a new agriculture research and development greenhouse.

    “The power upgrade in our Aquaculture Centre of Excellence will allow the college to accommodate its growth while working with a diverse range of industry partners,” says Dr. Burns.

    The funding announcement for these projects was made today at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, as the federal government announced $19.6 million in funding for 12 projects at four Alberta post-secondary institutions. The Government of Alberta is also contributing $2.2 million towards these projects.

    In total, universities and colleges throughout Alberta will receive over $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.

    “This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says The Honourable David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “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.”

    Project descriptions:

    New trades and technologies facility (Phase 2)

    This project will receive $6.44 million in SIF funding (total project cost $13.38 million). The project will support the construction of a new facility housing a wet lab, a social science observation lab and a collaboration space. The Innovation Space will bring together experts and researchers in key multi-disciplinary areas to create an innovative and collaborative hub that will directly contribute to innovation. This 7,000 square foot multi-functional space within the new trades and technologies facility will operate as a  “makerspace” and will support collaboration though flexible spaces as well as provide specialized labs for prototyping.

    Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) Power Upgrade

    This project will receive $350,000 in SIF funding (total project cost $700,000). This project will provide a power upgrade to the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) facility. The power upgrade will permit the ACE facility to install new equipment to test industrial designs and support a new agriculture research and development greenhouse.


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