The Research Capacity Program funding will be provided to the University of Calgary over four years and will help build the facilities and infrastructure needed to support 11 research projects that will attract new talent and investment to the province.

These projects are collaborative in nature and some involve participation from researchers at facilities from across Canada. The Alberta government’s investment in the University of Calgary leverages close to $170 million allocated for these projects across partner institutions, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation, other participating institutions, non-profit organizations and industry collaborators.

Together, these projects will transform new knowledge into value for Albertans by supporting leading-edge discoveries in health and wellness, infectious diseases, machine learning, energy storage solutions, clean energy technology, quantum computing, wireless telecommunications and more.

“Transformative research is the engine that will drive diversification forward and power Alberta’s economy for the future. This investment at UCalgary is key to fuelling the innovation Alberta is known for, and it will lead to the commercialization of new technology solutions that will grow our industries and create new jobs.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The University of Calgary is a fantastic partner to spark research that can transform and improve our health system. The university already attracts new talent to our province, like medical and scientific experts. Commitments like this ensure Albertans can continue to have access to a world-class health system that is open to innovation and improvement.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“This funding will leverage highly skilled talent, new partnerships and additional investments to help the University of Calgary deliver groundbreaking research. Alberta’s government wants to promote research and innovation through our post-secondary institutions and this funding will help achieve that important goal.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“We wish to thank the Government of Alberta for recognizing and supporting the innovative and ‘game-changing’ research going on at the University of Calgary. This funding means a range of research projects in health, science and engineering can take a big step forward. These are areas in which UCalgary is already leading the way, but it takes broad support from our partners to make the discoveries that will ultimately benefit society.”

Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

“Today’s investment contributes to maintaining and growing University of Calgary’s strengths in world-class research and leadership in innovation and knowledge translation. This important funding will ensure our researchers have access to critical infrastructure that facilitates discovery and sparks meaningful impact in our local and global communities.”

Robert I. Thompson, associate vice-president (research), University of Calgary

“Unravelling the complexities of brain disorders requires high precision. This new infrastructure will allow UCalgary’s outstanding brain and mental health researchers to generate more accurate and precise images of the human brain and ultimately lead to better diagnosis and treatment for brain disorders.”

Signe Bray, associate professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

“This investment not only builds upon the existing world-class research strengths of the University of Calgary but will drive many long-term economic benefits to Calgary, Alberta and Canada as a whole by laying the foundation for other successful University of Calgary spinout companies, like VizworX, in the future."

Jeff LaFrenz, president, VizworX Inc.

The Research Capacity Program helps Alberta’s post-secondary institutions get the small equipment and large research infrastructure they need to attract, retain and develop researchers in the province.

The research projects supported by this new funding will span a variety of areas, including:

  • using MRIs to improve early detection and safe, targeted treatment of mental illness in children and young adults
  • enhancing research of infectious diseases, inflammation and cancer, and working collaboratively to develop next generation cancer cell therapies
  • studying cell-based regenerative therapies
  • conducting a long-term study on aging to help improve quality of care
  • developing energy storage and conversion technologies for low-carbon electricity and zero-emission vehicles and advancing innovative materials for clean energy technologies, vehicles, nuclear power plants, information technology and more
  • harnessing quantum computers to develop new advanced sensor technology for application in areas like navigation
  • discovering new ways to diagnose and identify individuals most at risk of lung cancer related to radon exposure
  • advancing innovations in radio astronomy and developing receivers with commercial applications, such as in the upcoming 5G wireless networks
  • advancing our understanding of antimatter to enhance Alberta’s expertise in quantum computing

Quick facts

  • This new funding is in addition to $4.9 million in Research Capacity Program funding for the University of Calgary announced in October 2020.
    • The funding was for the University of Calgary’s SMILE-UVI satellite project, which will contribute to the international space mission and pay for research to study how space radiation affects our upper atmosphere, industrial infrastructure and technology in applications like enhanced GPS and satellite imaging in oil and gas mining.
  • Other previous examples of Research Capacity Program funding include 3D printers for SAIT, new smart infrastructure for Olds College and funding for artificial intelligence research.
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