Dec. 16, 2013

Urban Alliance launches Seed Grant competition to encourage new city-university research projects

Funding intended for exploratory phase of new projects relevant to Calgary
The Urban Alliance was created in 2007 with the signing of a 24-year agreement between the University of Calgary and the City of Calgary.

The Urban Alliance was created in 2007 with the signing of a 24-year agreement with the City.

Last week, a competition was announced to provide Seed Grants for the development of new research projects under the umbrella of the Urban Alliance.

The Urban Alliance is a research partnership between the City of Calgary and University of Calgary, created to encourage and co-ordinate the seamless transfer of cutting-edge research between the university and city.

To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must be a collaboration between one or more university faculty members and a sponsor within the City of Calgary, and clearly address research questions or needs of direct relevance and importance to the city.

Seed Grants are for a maximum of $15,000 and are intended to fund the exploratory phase of new projects, and lead to an application for further funding from Tri-Council or other major funding agencies, or from external sponsors.

The Urban Alliance was created in 2007 with the signing of a 24-year agreement between the two organizations. The purpose of the alliance is to pursue common areas of interest in research, development, and education that relate to finding the best solutions to complex problems facing Calgary, fostering world-class multi-disciplinary research and innovation, developing highly qualified personnel, and realizing the city’s and the university’s long-term priorities and plans and the imagineCALGARY vision.

The Urban Alliance is co-governed by both organizations, and both are deeply committed to its success. The Urban Alliance is a prime example and vehicle for one of the three foundational commitments of the university’s Eyes High vision, to fully integrate the university within the community.

Under the auspices of the Urban Alliance, many research projects have been developed that have had or are having an impact on real issues facing our city. In its initial three-year phase, the alliance established two research professorships, attracted $8 million in research funding, and facilitated more than 60 research projects involving over 100 researchers, students and practitioners. This was accomplished with a start-up budget of $300,000 granted by Alberta Municipal Affairs who saw the potential of a co-operative venture that could benefit the City of Calgary and, in the future, other municipalities in Alberta and beyond.

Past and current projects span a broad range of research areas including wastewater and solid waste treatment, services and facilities for the homeless, urban design and its effects on human health, cycling, traffic, public transit and other transportation issues, energy efficiency of buildings, social services for immigrants and vulnerable populations, urban wildlife issues, disaster management, sustainability and many more.

Funding for the Seed Grant competition is provided by the Vice-President (Research). The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2014.

If you are interested in applying, you can find information and guidelines for the Seed Grant competition, an application form, and contact information for the Urban Alliance Co-ordinator here