Canadian government signs research agreements with University of Calgary, University of Alberta to focus on materials, emerging technologies for new pipelines to provide greater reliability, environmental protection

CALGARY, Alberta , July 20, 2011 (press release) – Our Government took another step forward to advance metals and materials innovation by signing research agreements with the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. Collaboration under the agreements will support materials innovations, with a focus on emerging technologies for new pipelines, in particular pipelines to be located in Northern Canada.

“Our Government is committed to building a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “These agreements will provide learning and research opportunities for Albertans, new jobs and training, and greater pipeline reliability and environmental protection.”

Minister Oliver was joined at the signing ceremony by Dr. Ed McCauley, Vice-President of Research at the University of Calgary, and Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President of Research at the University of Alberta.

“This agreement will enhance collaboration between University of Calgary researchers and their colleagues at Natural Resources Canada, providing important synergies and leveraging our university’s strength in the high-priority areas of energy and environmental research,” said Dr. McCauley. “In particular, it will help advance the work being done by our Pipeline Engineering Centre in the Schulich School of Engineering to improve the safety, security and efficiency of energy pipelines.”

“The University of Alberta is delighted to formalize this important partnership with Natural Resources Canada,” said Dr. Babiuk. “Both entities bring particular expertise to the collaboration that will enhance the research, commercialization and training of highly qualified personnel in materials innovation, an area of strategic importance to our country. This agreement complements and strengthens research activities currently underway at the University of Alberta, and we look forward to being involved in this promising initiative.”

This academic collaboration between Natural Resources Canada’s CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory and the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta builds on Canada’s proud innovation history and is an important step in establishing a world-class capability for innovation in strategic and commercially important research areas.

Strong materials science is essential for reliability, public safety and environmental protection. These collaborative research agreements will help make the CANMET facilities more accessible to researchers at both universities.

The event took place in the Geological Survey of Canada’s lab in Calgary, where part of the CANMET materials lab is now located. Under Natural Resources Canada’s Accelerated Infrastructure Program, more than $7.6 million was invested toward modernizing the Geological Survey of Canada lab in support of science that helps Canadians and to address deferred laboratory maintenance requirements. The funding was granted as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

The CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory is the largest research centre in Canada devoted to metals and materials fabrication, pilot-scale processing and evaluation. The lab’s scientific and technical staff provide materials solutions for Canadian industry in the energy, transportation and metals-manufacturing sectors.

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