New funding expands applied research programs at SAIT
Provincial grants promote innovation at Alberta colleges, tech schools
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Red Deer College and Olds College are receiving almost $2.1 million in grants through the Alberta government’s Research Capacity Program as part of the province’s Alberta Recovery Plan.
The funding will support new research projects in the areas of advanced manufacturing, alternative energy technologies and smart agriculture, in an effort to attract business investment and accelerate job creation.
The announcement was made by Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer and Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, and took place at SAIT’s School for Advanced Digital Technology in downtown Calgary.
“One of Alberta's greatest strengths is our ability to tackle challenges through innovation,” says Schweitzer. “This investment will help get Albertans back to work now, and prepare our next generation for the jobs of tomorrow in manufacturing, energy and agriculture.”
SAIT’s $1-million grant will be used to expand applied research training programs through SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) research teams.
“We appreciate the continued investment by the Government of Alberta towards our work in applied research,” says David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. “This funding supports our Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) mandate to collaborate with industry to solve the issues of today and develop the innovations of tomorrow.
“Funding like this, to diversify research and introduce new technology applications not only advances innovation, it attracts investment and in turn rebuilds our economy, ensuring graduates from our institutions get jobs and have rewarding careers.”
As one of Canada's top applied-research colleges, SAIT has 50,000 square feet of specialized research labs and facilities supporting a variety of industries and organizations to move their products from concept to prototype.
"This funding will expand our research in areas including clean technology, information technology solutions, and the use of unmanned systems in construction, health and safety response, energy field operations and environmental assessment,” says Rick Tofani, Director, Applied Research and Innovation Services at SAIT.
The announcement follows the recent release of SAIT’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, New World. New Thinking and aligns with our commitment to collaborate with industry as co-leaders to build the economy and train the workforce of tomorrow.
“A key part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan is preparing our grads for jobs in the real world,” says Nicolaides. “By focusing on innovation and research, this announcement will help our post-secondary institutions ensure our students have the skills they need in a future economy.”
It also builds on the promise of SAIT’s new School for Advanced Digital Technology to create a tech-savvy talent pipeline, positioning Calgary as a city that can meet the needs of any business.