Businesses in the oild and gas, creative and health sectors in Western Canada are set to benefit from several new funding announcements made last week by Western Economic Diversification Canada.
On Jan. 19, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Michelle Rempel announced $2.4 million in support for the University of Manitoba to establish an internationally accredited analytical Centre for Oil and Gas Research and Development (COGRaD). The new Centre will be a leader in environmental monitoring and remediation services.
The funding will be used to purchase highly specialized equipment that will allow the centre to collaborate with private businesses on R&D, test samples from the environment, and develop tools and techniques to assist companies to meet existing environmental monitoring and remediation challenges.
“This centre will establish the University of Manitoba in a new field of research and development that is an institutional priority: environmental sustainability,” said Dr. Digvir S. Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba. “We congratulate our researchers and their teams on this new funding and applaud their leadership in this area.”
Later in the week, another funding announcement came out of Western Economic Diversification – a $1.2 million grant to Creative BC, which represents the film, television, digital media, music, book and magazine publishing sectors in British Columbia.
The funding will be used to deliver a comprehensive and targeted trade and investment strategy aimed at increasing the penetration of the province’s creative industries into domestic and international markets, improving awareness of the province’s investment and production opportunities, and increasing the global significance of trade events.
“With our Government’s support, Creative BC will have the ability to market BC’s strengths in this sector by improving export development and investment attraction with the goal of promoting jobs and growth,” said Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and for Western Economic Diversification.
A third significant grant of $2.98 million was also made last week by Western Economic Diversification Canada to establish a Metabolomics Technology Demonstration Centre under a collaboration between Genome Alberta and the University of Alberta. The funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art metabolomics assessment equipment to strengthen western Canadian companies’ ability to commercialize new discoveries.
Metabolomics examines cellular-level activities in cells, tissues and organisms, providing a way to measure gene-environment interactions. This field of research helps to generate solutions in human and animal health, agriculture and nutrition. Of note, one-third of all metabolomics companies in the world are located in Alberta.