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$376-million project focuses on aging research


Waterloo, ON – Ground was broken last week for an innovation institute for aging at the University of Waterloo. The new development will bring long-term care, research, and teaching activities together on the campus.

The $376-million project is the result of a partnership between local entrepreneur and philanthropist Ron Schlegel and the University of Waterloo. The project brings together the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), Schlegel Villages, the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning to address the growing urgency for innovation in elder care in Canada.

In August, the University of Waterloo announced that aging research would become one of three research priority areas.

“These new facilities will help students and researchers address some of the questions that Canada is faced with as our population grows older,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor of Waterloo. “There is an urgent need to develop new knowledge and talent to tackle the oncoming tsunami of aging-relating problems across the globe. These innovative new facilities will allow us to shed new light on some of the challenges we face as we grow old.”

The University of Waterloo and Conestoga College have a long history of partnership with the RIA. Waterloo, a founding partner of the RIA, holds Schlegel Research Chair positions in geriatric medicine, geriatric pharmacotherapy, vascular aging and brain health, and nutrition and aging. As the RIA’s primary practice development partner, Conestoga College professor Veronique Boscart holds the CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair in Seniors Care for Colleges.

Over the next 10 years, Ron Schlegel plans to fund at least 10 more Schlegel Research Chairs to support relevant research themes and equip the country with the strategies to manage an aging population.

Construction on the two facilities is set to complete by mid-2015.