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Open doors, open knowledge
Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:00 AM
Government-funded education projects showcased
On November 9, 2011, a special “open house” was held to showcase the University of Manitoba new buildings and renovation projects funded by the federal and provincial governments through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP).

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) is celebrating with universities across Canada in a special day, nationally titled Open Doors, Open Knowledge, to acknowledge the $2 billion in KIP funding that was provided to Canadian post-secondary institutions in 2009 for capital works projects as part of the government’s economic action plan.

“Our government has invested in research and training facilities at campuses across Manitoba through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program,” said Vic Toews, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba Minister. “The construction of new buildings and renovation of existing facilities throughout the University of Manitoba campus have served to create jobs, help our economy weather a period of economic instability and improve the overall quality of the university’s infrastructure for current and future students.”

“We are proud to support investments that improve education opportunities for students, create employment and fuel future economic growth in our province,” said Manitoba Advanced Education Minister Erin Selby.

The University of Manitoba was successful in securing KIP funding of $32 million for seven projects, more than any other post-secondary institution in Canada. KIP money paid for 40 per cent of the costs of the projects. Thirty per cent of the costs were provided through investments from the provincial government with the balance coming from private donors.

“These investments have created local jobs and helped improve the University of Manitoba’s research infrastructure,” said Rod Bruinooge, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South. “University of Manitoba students, staff and the community at large will benefit from these projects now and for years to come.”

“The success of the KIP program at the University of Manitoba and across Canada is the result of a very meaningful collaboration between the federal and provincial governments at a time of urgency,” said Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “It also shows the effectiveness of Canada’s university community as a partner in bringing substantial infrastructure plans to life quickly, while also ensuring high quality and sustainability.”

“Thanks to generous investments from the Governments of Canada and Manitoba and our other partners, the University of Manitoba is undergoing transformational change that is revitalizing the spaces where we study, work, live and play,” said University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor David Barnard. “The Knowledge Infrastructure Project is helping us better serve the next generation of trailblazers, visionaries and innovators.”

The U of M publicly thanked both the federal government and the provincial government for their support of the seven KIP projects.

The KIP-funded projects at the U of M are:

- ARTlab, a multidisciplinary art and technology centre that addresses the need for large open areas in the School of Art (painting, digital design, printmaking and drawing studios) and provides a common lecture theatre for both the School of Art and the Faculty of Music.

- Biological Sciences, a newly renovated and upgraded facility housing modern state-of-the-art advanced research and teaching laboratories.

- Buller Building Science Laboratory, which houses renovated and upgraded research and teaching laboratories of the Faculty of Science department of microbiology and a part of the faculty’s department of biological sciences.

- Neil John Maclean Library, an essential resource in health care teaching, research and community outreach, with an expansion to allow for new space to house the Aboriginal health collection, the rare book collection and new student study spaces.

- Regenerative Medicine, with new research space within the Faculty of Medicine to assist in the development of new medical procedures for the regeneration of muscles, heart tissue, nerve tissue and brain tissue in various diseases.

- Eureka Project, expanding the incubating facility to support more high-tech companies during their early stages of development and to assist them in becoming successful and independent, plus the construction of a new meeting centre within Smartpark.

- Smartpark Lake 2 Infrastructure, which will provide the opportunity for future expansion of Smartpark and lead to enhanced university-industry research and technology collaborations.

An event to showcase the completion of all projects was also held at the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library on November 9. Participants of the Open Doors event included the Honourable Vic Toews, the Honourable Erin Selby, MP Rod Bruinooge, President David Barnard and Paul Davidson, President, AUCC.
For more information, contact:
Terry Aseltine
Government and community relations
Phone: (204) 474-8633