CCIT building opens

“Just an involuntary cryogenics experiment, that’s me,” remarked one member of a crowd of over 100 local researchers, business people and other distinguished visitors who gathered on a cold, Octobermorning to officially open the new Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology building.

University of Calgary’s newest research and teaching facility opened on Tue., Oct. 8 and includes state of the art equipment and lab space in a 6,690-square-metre space, housing academics from many research fields.

“The CCIT will help us become stronger in research areas where we have the potential to become national and international research leaders,” said U of C President Dr. Harvey Weingarten. “It is that investment in research and commitment to support research enterprises in Alberta that ensures a healthy future for Alberta and its residents. Problems facing society must be solved with

groups of people from different disciplines working together.”

Construction on the building located west of Engineering Block D, started in June 2001. Features of the CCIT include adaptable facilities, which allow researchers in different fields to collaborate more easily, and five shared laboratory suites, one for each of the focus areas.

“As researchers, we look forward to new research opportunities created by the CCIT,” said biomedical engineering researcher Dr. Janet Ronsky. “Our initial plan will capitalize on our research strengths.”

The five areas are Health of the Aging Population; Resource Development and Utilization; Deteriorating Infrastructure; Next Generation Intelligent Technologies; and Environmental Impact.

It is hoped that the CCIT will both help train new experts and add to expertise in those research areas.

“The building assists the university in attracting and retaining leading individuals,” said U of C Board of Governors Chair Brian MacNeill. “These individuals in turn will attract research funding to Calgary.”

MacNeill said construction of the CCIT was under budget and finished before deadline, and noted that it will further research in engineering, medicine and kinesiology.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein agreed that the building will benefit the U of C, Calgary and Alberta.

“The CCIT is a magnet that will attract the best students and researchers and will be a catalyst for innovation,” said Klein. “The work undertaken in this facility will ensure that Alberta will be a competitive

and competent player in our knowledge-based economy.”

Funding for the $35 million building came from Alberta Innovation and Science ($14 million), the federal Canada Foundation for Innovation ($1.5 million), and the private sector including energy companies which contributed a total of $19.5 million.

Klein hopes the CCIT will enhance Alberta as an internationally recognized research centre.

“Alberta researchers are gaining a reputation internationally for discoveries in research and the life sciences,” he said. “This centre will help build on the excellence.”

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