Major Infrastructure Investment at UBC – $51.5-million Investment will Create Jobs, Expand Research

Post-secondary institutions help equip young Canadians with the education and training they need for future careers that will help them join a strong, healthy middle class. The recent $51.5-million investment in the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver will support an overall investment of close to $100 million and provide opportunities for those interested in a career in life sciences, medicine or sports medicine to obtain the necessary skills and training in new and renewed state-of-the-art learning facilities.

The joint federal-provincial funding was announced at UBC by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by the Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation; one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action and will help create the well-paying middle-class jobs of tomorrow.

The University of British Columbia’s Vancouver Campus is receiving $39.7 million from the federal government and $11.8 million from the provincial government for three projects:

$44.3 million to renew and replace facilities at the Undergraduate Life Sciences Teaching Labs at the Biological Sciences Complex. This investment will provide modern research and lab space for faculty and over 2,000 students enrolled in life sciences programs at UBC. The Government of Canada is providing $32.5 million for this project, with an additional $11.8 million coming from the Government of British Columbia. UBC will contribute an additional $35.6 million to the project.

$4.7 million in federal funding for the construction of the new Chan Gunn Pavilion, which will become an interdisciplinary hub to advance innovations in physical activity and exercise medicine. UBC and donors will contribute $6.7 million.

$2.5 million in federal funding for the expansion and enhancement of the Centre of Excellence for Simulation Education and Innovation (CESEI) at Vancouver General Hospital, which will help make advances in biomedical engineering by piloting new medical devices and technologies.

Federal funding will be allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country’s best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for¿and create¿the high-value, middle-class jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says Bains. “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. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive.”

“Our $11.8-million investment in the renewal and replacement of the life sciences undergraduate labs at UBC will give students the opportunity to conduct research and gain the education needed to contribute to a growing and diverse sector. Life sciences contribute an estimated $805 million in revenues and employ 8,500 people here in British Columbia. Investment partnerships such as the one with the Government of Canada will advance research, innovation and education, benefiting students, communities and the province,” adds Andrew Wilkinson, British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education

“Here is a wonderful example of our federal and provincial governments working together to make significant improvements to university infrastructure so that UBC can continue to attract leading researchers and provide students with the best possible learning facilities,” says Santa Ono, President and Vice Chancellor, UBC.

Quick Facts

The University of British Columbia’s Vancouver Campus has been awarded $39.7 million in federal funding for three projects under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.

The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.