EDMONTON — The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) has officially opened its newest building, the Productivity and Innovation Centre.
The centre, built with a $34.9-million contribution from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, is intended to introduce businesses to new technologies, aid in developing and testing new products, and apply research solutions to industry issues in order to make Alberta organizations more competitive.
“The Productivity and Innovation Centre is truly essential to Alberta’s future. This centre will enable organizations to become more competitive and productive. It is one of North America’s leading innovation spaces — both in size and scope,” NAIT president and CEO Glenn Feltham said in a statement.
The building contains NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability and Centre for Sensors and System Integration alongside other research initiatives.
“This state-of-the-art facility will provide research and learning opportunities for businesses and industry-focused learning and future entrepreneurs. All this supports a province with jobs and a modern and diversified economy,” said Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt.
Construction of the 17,650-square-metre building was completed in 18 months. According to a NAIT release, it is one of the largest innovation spaces in North America.
“Ledcor has always been impressed by NAIT’S ability to learn from and partner with industry to focus on solutions to important problems like improved sustainability for Canada’s oilsands. The opening of the Productivity and Innovation Centre is well positioned to benefit industry for years to come,” said Ledcor Group energy, mining and infrastructure president Jeff Watt.
In addition to housing research, the building will also host conferences and events as well as provide workforce education space.