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Alberta government funding to support commercialization of space, defence, health, and clean technologies

The Government of Alberta announced $27.3 million in funding for Alberta’s research universities on Sept. 5, with the goal of spurring on technological innovation in key industry sectors in the province.

Support from the Major Innovation Fund was provided to the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta to support research and commercialization of technologies in the clean and resilient energy sectors, along with the health, space, and defence sectors.

The University of Alberta will be taking on research partnerships for clean and resilient technologies.

The University of Calgary will be taking the lead for the Alberta Medical Device Innovation Consortium, which will focus on the medical device sector. It will also fund The Health Everywhere project, which will further research and commercialize virtual, digital, and mobile health technologies, and the Space and Defence Technologies Alberta project which will focus on civil-to-defence projects.

“This is going to help to drive innovation in so many exciting sectors in the tech industry, cutting edge fields,” said Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate Gublish.

“All of these fields have really exciting research projects in our post-secondary institutions here in Alberta. And this funding announcement today is going to help to drive that research even further forward. continuing to build on the momentum that we are seeing in Alberta’s tech sector.”

UCalgary to lead three of four projects in 2023 round of Major Innovation Fund projects

UCalgary president and vice-chancellor Dr. Ed McCauley said that the university was proud to be the lead institution for three of the four projects announced.

“We look forward to working with our fellow institutions to ensure success. We collaborate far more than we compete we compete on the national international stage,” McCauley said.

He said that the funding provided would continue to transform the space and aerospace industry in the province, with increased focus on terrestrial technologies like UAVs and drones, to space technologies like satellites.

Dr. McCauley said that UCalgary, through the funding, would also continue to make tangible improvements in the health of all Albertans.

“We know access to health care is a challenge, particularly for the million or so Albertans in rural and remote communities. And we also know that technology can improve access with better diagnosis or have conditions and better treatments,” he said.

“This consortium is going to develop new medical technologies to improve care and expand access. Similarly, Health Everywhere will be a hub for digital health excellence, bringing together integrated programs, experts and resources to commercialize electronic health and mobile health technologies here in Alberta and around the world.”

Previous funding from the Government of Alberta through the Major Innovation Fund attracted $25 million in investment, created 207 industry partnerships in the fields of quantum computing, autonomous systems, and antimicrobial resistance, led to the creation of eight spinoff companies, and supported 708 jobs.