In 2022, the government released the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy to cement Alberta as a dominant player and internationally recognized technology and investment hub. Funding for the Research Capacity Program is an important part of achieving the plan’s strategic goals.

Alberta’s Research Capacity Program strengthens the ability of Alberta’s universities and colleges to do more research. It covers up to 40 per cent of the costs for important equipment and facilities and will provide this new funding to post-secondary institutions.

This investment from Alberta’s government leverages more than $7 million allocated for these projects from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations and industry.

“Alberta’s researchers are world-class, and investments like this are making our province a leader in technology and innovation. We’re making sure Alberta is the destination of choice for researchers, innovators and investors looking to bring new technologies to solve today’s biggest challenges – all while growing and diversifying our economy.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

“Alberta's post-secondary institutions are driving our province towards a future defined by technological excellence. This funding reinforces our commitment to supporting projects that advance critical research, grow our economy and attract world-class talent.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

The latest round of successful applications includes projects ranging from advancements in unmanned flight and environmental restoration to developments in energy storage and agricultural technologies: 

  • NAIT’s Boreal Research Project will expand research and help Indigenous communities develop plant and seed technologies, forest reclamation and peatland restoration.
  • SAIT’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Project will develop heavy lift remotely piloted aircraft systems for beyond visual line of sight operations.
  • SAIT’s Hydrogen and Energy Storage Technologies Project will develop clean energy solutions in hydrogen energy and battery energy storage systems.
  • Lethbridge College’s Smart Irrigation Farm Project will create precision irrigation management strategies to maximize crop productivity and minimize water use in Alberta's agricultural sector.

“Water and agriculture are critical to the economy and way of life in southern Alberta. Lethbridge College’s leadership in providing training on smart irrigation is a brilliant step towards a better future.”

Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Affordability and Utilities, and MLA for Lethbridge-East

Together, these investments demonstrate the Government of Alberta’s commitment to research and innovation and position the province as one of the most innovative jurisdictions in Canada.

“NAIT’s Centre for Boreal Research, located in Peace River, is a nationally recognized centre of excellence in peat and wetland restoration, forest reclamation, and plant and seed technology development. This funding will be used to enhance infrastructure and equipment, enabling the centre to better support our Indigenous and industry partners in their ongoing reclamation and remediation work.”

Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

“SAIT is building the technologies that will take Alberta into the future. With remotely piloted aircraft systems and hydrogen energy storage, the Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) Hub at SAIT empowers solutions through innovation. Support from the government for infrastructure and researchers to address industry-driven challenges enables the commercialization of sustainable technologies and practices, enhancing the quality of life for Albertans through economic development.”

David Ross, president and CEO, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

“Lethbridge College is taking the challenges of today and finding solutions. Our smart irrigation farm will undertake research to minimize water usage in our agricultural system in the face of future droughts and maximize crop productivity.”

Kenny Corscadden, interim vice-president, academic and vice-president, research and partnerships

Thanks to the cutting-edge infrastructure procured through Research Capacity Program funding, Alberta’s post-secondaries have contributed significantly to the province, attracting and retaining more than 5,000 highly qualified personnel to Alberta. This has helped advance the province’s research endeavours and strengthen the province's intellectual capital.

Quick facts

  • Since its inception in 1997, the Research Capacity Program has dedicated more than $464 million to support more than 800 diverse projects at Alberta’s post-secondaries, effectively leveraging $1.8 billion from other sources such as the federal government, industry collaborators and non-profit organizations.
  • The Research Capacity Program has multiple competition streams, including the College-Industry Innovation Grant, Bio Innovation Grant, Research Infrastructure Grant and Small Equipment Grants.

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