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Date: July 16, 2008

Federal and Provincial Governments Support Ocean Sciences and Marine Technology Industry

Victoria, BC – The governments of Canada and British Columbia are working in partnership to strengthen the ocean sciences sector through an investment in the planning and development of a world class, national scale ocean technology park on Vancouver Island.

Federal funding of $135,000 was announced today by Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification. MLA Ida Chong, Minister of Technology, Trade and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Asia-Pacific Initiative, announced a matching contribution of $135,000 in provincial funding toward the initiative.

“This federal funding will help to ensure British Columbia remains a leader in the field of ocean sciences,” said MP Fast. “The Government of Canada is doing its part to ensure that Canada is well positioned for success in the global knowledge-based economy.”

Today’s investment will help University of Victoria Properties Inc. plan and develop an Ocean Technology Park (OTP) and regional tank testing facility, Pacific Centre for Ocean Energy and Engineering (PCOE). Project activities will include feasibility assessments and business plans for the OTP and PCOE, completion of site engineering, master planning and communications plans to develop the proposed park.

“An Ocean Technology Park will provide a vital nexus and focus for economic development, capitalizing on the major growth potential in the ocean and marine science & technology sector,” noted Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong. “As Canada’s Pacific Gateway, B.C. is ideally positioned to become a world leader in ocean sciences and technologies.”

Development plans for the OTP include a new multi-user building for marine technology companies and research organizations that would see both facilities providing workspace for industry, government agencies and academic researchers involved in ocean technology.

“Together we can provide an environment to foster world class innovation, act as enablers to attract and retain world class talent, create societal benefits by commercializing products and services, while contributing economic benefit to the nation.” said Dale Gann, Acting President, UVic Properties Investments Inc.

University of Victoria Properties Investments Inc. is a corporation owned by UVic. Created in 2005, UVic Properties is responsible for managing several of UVic’s significant off-campus holdings including the Vancouver Island Technology Park, Dunsmuir Lodge Executive Training and Conference Centre, and the Marine Technology Centre.

The governments of Canada and British Columbia work in partnership to foster entrepreneurship initiatives, serving to strengthen and diversify the economy, and improve the quality of life in communities across B.C.

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Media contacts:

Pierre Floréa (Director of Communications) Office of the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification at 613-943-1838

Gordon Williams (Communications Director) Ministry of Technology, Trade and Economic Development at
250-952-0152 or cell 250-413-7316

Patty Pitts (Manager, Media Relations) University of Victoria at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca


Backgrounders:
UVic a Canadian Leader in Oceans Research

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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