Funding was confirmed for a new, $30-million Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced $10.8 million in funding through the Government of Canada's Post‑Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
The three-storey building will provide study and learning space for students enrolled in new diploma and degree programs. It will also be an important resource where academia and industry can collaborate to innovate, diversify the economy and create new opportunities for the future.
Key to this economic growth will be the Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization (C-RIC) which will be housed in the centre. It will play an essential role in creating a powerful local entrepreneurship climate and in supporting the diversification of the economy. It will include research and commercialization space for business and industry, including incubator, changemaker and fabrication space. Until now, central Ontario has not had a dedicated facility of any kind related to research, acceleration or commercialization.
More than 800 degree and diploma students will use the labs and collaboration facilities in the centre. It will be home to Simcoe County's first electrical engineering degree, offered by Georgian in partnership with Lakehead University. Students will graduate job-ready with both a diploma and a degree, the best of a college and university education, in just four years. In future years, the centre will allow for the growth of additional degree studies in mechanical, civil and software engineering.
For students in Georgian's environmental programs, as well as industry partners, the centre will be a living lab. Sustainable building construction and energy efficiency principles are incorporated throughout the new facility. The centre will also be home to the first two years of a new combined degree-diploma program focused on environmental sustainability in partnership with Lakehead.
In addition to federal funding announced today, the Centre for Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research will be financed by $1.8 million from the provincial government, a $5-million contribution from the County of Simcoe and $5 million from the City of Barrie.
Georgian will work with the community and industry partners to secure additional funds through its Power of Education campaign. The building will open for use by the fall of 2018.
Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre
This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government's vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes.– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Our government is proud to support this important project, which will give Georgian College students access to renewed and upgraded facilities at the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre. We know that providing access to high-quality education and training facilities is critical to building the highly skilled workforce we need to support good jobs and economic growth for today and tomorrow, and this investment will help us to do it.– Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie
We are so proud that postsecondary education continues to expand in Simcoe County, providing opportunities for our residents, fueling our skilled labour market and driving our economy and communities forward. The new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre will serve as a hub to support our local industries and manufacturing businesses while continuing to position Georgian College as a provincial leader in producing highly skilled, job-ready graduates.– Warden Gerry Marshall, County of Simcoe
This catalytic project will support our local labour market needs, advance Barrie's economic investment strategy for the creation of a vibrant start-up ecosystem to achieve greater economic diversity, and enable greater industrial competitiveness and resiliency through increased access to research, technology and innovation infrastructure.
– Jeff Lehman, Mayor, City of Barrie
The new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre will be a game changer – an inspirational home for diploma and degree studies as well as a boost for our local economy. When people think of Georgian College, they first think of students, and we are proud of that. This new building reinforces that Georgian is a resource for business and industry. This innovation and research centre will be a catalyst for change and help to build the future of our communities for decades to come.– Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College
We are thrilled for the possibilities that this new centre brings, like new degree and diploma programs, new labs and research facilities. As the president of the Georgian College Electric Vehicle Racing Club, where we design and construct a small electrical car, I am eager to utilize the resources this facility will bring. This new building will provide us with new labs and fabrication spaces for students like myself to work on our projects.
– Mark Reckzin, Mechanical Engineering Technology student, Georgian College
Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre
The $30-million, three-storey, 56,000-square-foot facility will be a centerpiece of Georgian's Barrie Campus, prominently facing busy Highway 400. The centre will include:
· Research and commercialization space for industry, including incubator, changemaker and fabrication space
· Labs and collaboration space for more than 800 degree and diploma students
· Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and geographic information system (GIS) labs
· Dedicated telepresence room, electrical lab, technical project space and more
In addition to federal and provincial contributions, the centre is also supported with a $5-million investment from the County of Simcoe and $5-million from the City of Barrie. Georgian and its donors and industry partners will provide additional funding.
Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization (C-RIC)
· The C-RIC will be fundamental to the economic growth and prosperity of central Ontario.
· It will function as a community hub where innovation is fostered and celebrated. It will be the go-to source to develop and incubate products and services, to test concepts, and showcase promising research and new products.
Central Ontario's first engineering degrees
· Engineering job opportunities in central Ontario are projected to grow by approximately six per cent by 2020, and that is without any additional boost from local research and innovation activities. The demand exists – enrolment in Georgian's engineering technology programs has increased by more than 15 per cent over the past three years.
· Until now no engineering degrees have been offered in central Ontario. Georgian is meeting this need by introducing the first electrical engineering degree in partnership with Lakehead University. Students will graduate job-ready with both a diploma and a degree, the best of a college and university education, in just four years.
Key learning and research opportunities for students in Georgian's environmental degree and diploma programs as well as industry partners include the ability to capture data on the usage and functionality of:
· Rooftop solar panels
· A micro-grid display room
· Building automation control system
· Geothermal ground source heating and cooling
· LED lighting
The Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre will also be home to the first two years of a combined degree-diploma in environmental sustainability in partnership with Lakehead University.