Media Release, July 30, 2015. The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, today announced a $9.9 million investment towards the establishment of Canada’s first Western Canadian Microbiome Centre at the University of Calgary.
Federal funding will enable the University to advance microbiome research to new heights by funding facility renovations, new state-of-the-art equipment, and specialized expertise. This initiative will allow small- and medium-sized enterprises to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative discoveries, benefitting a wide range of industries such as health care, agri-food, and energy management.
Expected to open by 2017, the Centre will help accelerate the commercialization of treatments, products, or processes that can fight diseases, increase food productivity, and develop new innovations for the energy and alternative energy sectors. The will help position Alberta as a global leader in applied microbiome research. This initiative is expected to generate multiple patents and create new industry-partnership research contracts.
• Microbiomes are microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in a particular environment, such as on the skin of the human body.
• The new Western Canadian Microbiome Centre will focus on three areas of applied microbiome research: new diagnostics and therapeutics for human health, nutritional value of food, and non-conventional energy resources and energy sector innovation.
• Revenues in the life sciences sector were estimated to be $1.5 billion annually, and contributed to approximately 14,100 jobs in Alberta in 2012.
• Collectively, Alberta companies and institutions have attracted partners in some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations and researchers.
“Our Government recognizes that innovation is vital to a dynamic modern economy. By providing access to the essential resources needed to foster innovation, we are bringing new products and services to market that not only will strengthen our ability to compete in global markets, but will also improve our overall quality of life.”
- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification
“Our University of Calgary community is extremely proud to be the site of the future Western Canadian Microbiome Centre. Western Economic Diversification Canada’s support helps to reinforce our university’s internationally-recognized strengths in our strategic research area of infections, inflammation and chronic diseases. This financial investment will allow our cross-faculty researchers to build upon their partnerships and enhance their exploration of microbiome factors. Our university will collaborate with industry partners to promote improved health, food security and energy innovation for all Canadians and influence applied science on a global level.”
- M. Elizabeth Cannon, PhD, FCAE, FRSC, President, University of Calgary
Government of Canada Invests in New Western Canadian Microbiome Centre