From left: Ed McCauley, president; Tamara Bodnar, assistant professor; Rajan Sawhney, minister of advanced education; and Kristin Baetz, science dean. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Sept. 22, 2023

Provincial funding moves UCalgary’s Multidisciplinary Science Hub $5M closer to reality

Advanced Education Minister Rajan Sawhney announces funds during campus visit

Confirmation of $5 million in provincial funding to help plan UCalgary’s Multidisciplinary Science Hub was a highlight as Alberta’s new advanced education minister paid her inaugural official visit to her alma mater.

“Our post-secondary institutions, including the University of Calgary, are the doorway to rewarding and fulfilling careers,” said Advanced Education Minister Rajan Sawhney, a University of Calgary alumna who earned a degree in economics and political science as well as an MBA.

“Investments we make to support the growth of facilities on campus will ensure Albertans have the skills, knowledge and competencies they need to build our communities and keep Alberta’s economy moving forward.”

Rajan Sawhney

Next-generation campus science community

The funding, previously announced as part of Alberta’s spring budget, will help with the planning of the trans-faculty hub to support STEM students in vital areas like agriculture innovation, computer science, energy, quantum, biotechnology and aerospace.

With an opening date slated for 2029, the 36,550-square-metre Multidisciplinary Science Hub will serve as a next-generation campus science community of teaching, learning, world-leading research, and industry partnerships. The hub will feature a dedicated Student Success Centre to deliver essential workplace skills, while startup incubators and industry collaboration spaces will provide opportunities for internships and hands-on learning.

Sawhney’s announcement on Tuesday is a step forward for the planned $450-million multidisciplinary science hub, which once fully funded will solidify UCalgary as a world leader in science research and mobilization, and create space for over 2,200 more students.

UCalgary president welcomes provincial support

UCalgary President and Vice-Chancellor Ed McCauley welcomed the $5-million commitment, saying the provincial funding means the university can begin planning a facility that will foster innovation and entrepreneurship in high-demand areas of research.

“Last year, we had record enrolment and demand is forecast to grow, which is why investments like today’s are so needed and so appreciated, so we can meet that demand … especially the critical science and technology sectors and in turn support Alberta’s increasing labour force needs,” said McCauley.

As the province's technology sector continues to grow, and as emerging Alberta industries like aerospace, quantum, and critical minerals expand, demand for science training is expected to follow.

The Multidisciplinary Science Hub will provide a much-needed boost in teaching, learning, and research capacity to meet this anticipated demand.

Kristin Baetz

Bringing researchers and industry partners together

The science hub will feature shared core facilities, providing researchers and industry partners with leading-edge platforms, services, and expertise that they could not access on their own. This centralized approach increases efficiency and enables researchers to achieve game-changing impacts that would otherwise be out of reach.

“UCalgary is a key driver of Alberta's innovation future through training and research in energy, agriculture, computer science and health,” said Dr. Kristin Baetz, UCalgary's dean of science.

“Our work also supports emerging industries including quantum, critical minerals and aerospace. The investment in the multidisciplinary science hub building will allow us to supercharge research and innovation and expand capacity to meet industry needs by training the next generation of STEM leaders.”


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