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Alberta adds $4.4M to research fund


Edmonton, AB – The Alberta government’s research-funding arm, called Alberta Ingenuity, says it is increasing its fund by $4.4 million, bringing its total funding for innovative science and engineering research to $21 million in 2006-07.

“Great research drives economic and social advances. That is what makes this enterprise so exciting and full of potential,” says Dr Peter Hackett, president and CEO of Alberta Ingenuity, which invests in strategic research with revenue from the endowment supported by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Science and Engineering Research. “We are investing in the best research in strategic areas, building innovation capacity in business and society and the results of this commitment are already benefiting Alberta.”

The organization focuses on three areas for funding. It provides funding for new faculty in universities, and student scholarships. It is also running an industry associates program, that provides recent PhDs and post-grads for specific research projects within private-sector companies. This program has so far placed 86 researchers in close to 60 companies, across a range of industries, and the program is scheduled to double over the next several years.

“Alberta has an opportunity with its energy-related wealth to invest in a more diverse economy that will sustain our prosperity, and this is particularly important as world markets and cultures change,” says Victor Doerksen, the province’s innovation and science minister. “Through the strong growth of Alberta Ingenuity, we have developed an effective mechanism to do that.”