Nov. 16, 2018

University of Calgary launches transformative changes to University Research Park

Provincial transfer of land and buildings to be catalyst in driving innovation, economic diversification and the creation of high-quality jobs

  • Above: Joining University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon, second from left, at the announcement were (from left): the Hon. Sandra Jansen, Minister of Infrastructure; Alberta Premier Rachel Notley; and the Hon. Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education.

At the University of Calgary, we have taken a major step toward fulfilling our vision of establishing University Research Park as a place where research excellence and programming drive innovation, economic diversification and the creation of high-quality jobs with the acquisition of 76 acres of land and three buildings from the Government of Alberta.

The transfer of land and buildings from the Province to UCalgary will support the creation of a new innovation and research cluster at the University Research Park (URP) and help establish a space equipped to drive innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in the Calgary region.

URP will augment the impact of our existing spaces and initiatives dedicated to advancing innovation, inspiring entrepreneurial thinking and cultivating bold new approaches to teaching, learning, discovery and knowledge-sharing.

“Innovative ideas are being cultivated regularly at the University of Calgary and are being translated to new companies through the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies, and Innovate Calgary,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary. “University Research Park will provide an excellent platform for further innovation and company growth, create new employment opportunities, and help the economic diversification of our community.”

“Students at the University of Calgary as well as the private sector will be the direct beneficiaries of this fantastic initiative. This research park will help them be innovative and creative as Alberta’s economy continues to diversify while also creating the jobs needed in a rapidly changing marketplace,” says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

In addition to diversifying Calgary’s economy, URP will become an incubator, creating high-quality jobs and attracting top talent and will be a catalyst to grow employment opportunities in the tech industry.

“Forty years ago, CMG began its journey at the University of Calgary and has flourished within the University Research Park,” says Ryan Schneider, president and CEO of CMG. “By enabling companies and startups, the University of Calgary is playing an integral role in diversifying our economy, allowing for the creation of high-quality jobs, and fostering opportunities for the tech industry to expand here in Calgary.”

Over a 20-year period, URP will support the creation of 6,300 direct new jobs. This includes 4,500 private-sector jobs with the remaining comprised of technical staff for sponsored UCalgary research. Jobs created at URP will mainly be in the subsectors of biomed, energy tech, and other fields distinct from downtown Calgary’s primary employment sectors, enabling the attraction of new talent in diverse industries.  

UCalgary is expected to become recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2022. The creation of new innovation spaces in University Research Park will provide enhanced opportunities for UCalgary students and researchers to collaborate with local companies, introducing fresh perspectives and untapped knowledge.