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Date: February 20, 2008

Government of Canada Announces More Than $1 Million For UVic Technology Projects

Federal government news release — The University of Victoria will receive an investment of $1,036,400 from the Government of Canada to increase research capacity and support services for the advanced technology sector on south Vancouver Island. The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, made the announcement today at the university’s campus in Victoria.

“The federal government is providing this funding to strengthen the University of Victoria’s world-class research capacity,” said Minister Ambrose. “It will encourage the growth of knowledge-based research and development, and foster technology commercialization on Vancouver Island.”

The federal contributions will go towards three important science and technology investments:

• Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide $570,000 in funding to help the university acquire and upgrade important research equipment, including a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer ($150,000), an Electron Beam Lithography system ($290,000) and a Raman microscope ($130,000).
• WD, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Environment Canada will also provide $353,700 to allow the university’s VENUS project to purchase three new pieces of research equipment to study the Fraser River Delta. The equipment, Seismic Liquefaction In-Situ Penetrometers, will be used to better understand the behaviour of sedimentary deltas and will be the first array of its type in the world.
• WD will provide $112,700 in funding to assist the Vancouver Island Technology Park, owned by the university, to upgrade its existing business centre in order to enhance its services to the advanced technology sector on south Vancouver Island.

“We are delighted that Western Economic Diversification Canada has invested in these three projects,” says UVic President David Turpin. “The equipment and facilities being funded are supporting world-class research that will be of direct benefit to Canadians in fields as diverse as coastal management, drug development, alternative energy and information processing.”

In addition to these technological and operational investments, NRCan is contributing expertise to help the university build and deploy an eight kilometre extension of the VENUS observatory in the Strait of Georgia. VENUS is one of the world’s most advanced cabled seafloor observatories, providing live data from the ocean floor.

“My department’s Geoscience for Ocean Management Program is pleased to continue working with the University of Victoria,” said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “Generating new scientific data will enhance the capacity to make sound decisions about ocean management and help ensure the safety and security of Canadians living in the coastal areas of the Strait of Georgia.”

The funding for the University of Victoria supports the implementation of the Government of Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy by investing in knowledge infrastructure, promoting skills development and supporting knowledge transfer and commercialization.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is the department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities to encourage diversification of the western economy, as well as to represent the interests of the West in national decision making.

Toll-free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Web Site: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.

Media contacts:
Donna Howes (Communications Manager) Western Economic Diversification Canada at 604-666-1318 or cell: 604-505-6616
Valerie Shore (Research Communications Officer) UVic Communications, University of Victoria, BC at 250-721-7641

Funding Details

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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