Canada invests $1.98 million in Algoma University to encourage innovation and tech development

From: FedNor

January 26, 2021 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Innovation and digital technology adoption are key to the vitality of the Canadian economy, supporting business growth, as well as the entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies, and increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. Preparing Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow will provide Canadian companies with the highly skilled workers they need to innovate and modernize their processes to stay on the cutting edge.

Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced a Government of Canada investment of $1.98 million to help Algoma University expand its School of Computer Science and Technology computer lab. This targeted investment will be used to design, build and equip a state-of-the-art computer lab with dedicated space for the development of expertise and creativity in the areas of mobile application engineering, cybersecurity, software systems, data analytics and computer game technology. The expansion is expected to create 23 construction-related jobs, help maintain 9 full-time faculty positions and 15 part-time jobs; as well as pave the way for increased enrolment and staffing.

The upgraded lab will increase programming and research opportunities for students and faculty. In addition, it will include two innovation and collaboration zones designed to ensure creativity, project innovation, product development and idea incubation. The expansion will also offer sufficient workspace for interactive display integration to encourage continuous collaboration and idea-sharing among students, faculty, researchers and industry partners.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing current and future human resource and technical challenges in the region.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring Canadians have the digital skills needed to enable the growth of businesses in Sault Ste. Marie and across the region. Investments such as this will prepare people for the jobs of tomorrow and work to address current and future workforce needs while enabling entrepreneurs to take advantage of innovation to grow their businesses.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Our government is proud to support Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie which is home to more than 1700 full-time students. Today’s investment will lay the groundwork for growth that will enable the faculty to increase its enrolment. Furthermore, the upgraded computer lab will provide regional employers with highly qualified computer science personnel who can apply data analytics to improve decision-making, use software engineering to enhance cybersecurity, and transform processes with the application of new technologies that have the potential to increase profitability and efficiency.”

– Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“We would like to recognize FedNor and the Government of Canada for supporting the development of the School of Computer Science and Technology at Algoma University. This strategic initiative will benefit faculty, students, researchers and industry partners. In addition to the educational benefits, the Computer Lab will enable us to increase our enrolment by more than 626 students by 2024 and lead to the hiring of seven faculty. In turn, our growth will contribute to the vitality of the regional economy.”

– Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor, Algoma University

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program which supports projects that support community economic development, diversification, job creation and self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.

  • Algoma University (AU) offers more than 30 academic programs in a diverse range of fields provided through four schools, including the School of Computer Science and Technology, and three faculties: Faculty of Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Humanities.

  • Computer Science is currently the fastest growing undergraduate program at AU.

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