The answer, as announced last Friday by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, is to invest. Two funds will cash in at $291,375 and $297,500 respectively and are made possible through the Western Diversification Program (WDP).
As with any federal investment, there are already big plans ahead.
The first investment of $291,375 will go to Innovate Calgary, in partnership with the University of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnic. The funds will help establish the Kinetica Innovation Centre, a globally-focused energy tech accelerator. Because of the University of Calgary’s involvement, students will have the opportunity to gain experience in a way that is beneficial to the industry.
“Calgary’s strengths as an energy leader will be catalyzed by the kind of partnership represented by Kinetica,” said Ed McCauley, Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary. “This is how new opportunities will also solve the sector’s most pressing challenges.”
The second investment will go entirely to SAIT Polytechnic to advance the development of 3D virtual training models.
Dr. David Ross, the President and CEO of SAIT Polytechnic, is eager to see how the investment will shape the future of SAIT’s students.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the value of industry partnership and applied education – two of SAIT’s key institutional priorities,” Dr. Ross said. “Through their support, SAIT can continue to elevate the learning experience for our students and set them up for successful careers.”
By building skill in a hands-on way, Calgary’s students are poised to fill the 25 per cent attrition in Alberta’s skilled workforce over the next 10 years.
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