08 January 2009

Re:Building the future

Colleges and Universities are lining up for infrastructure spending to address the need to invest in our education systems as part of stimulus spending. In "Academics tout wisdom of spending on decaying campus infrastructure," Globe reporter Elizabeth Church outlines recent advocacy positions by the ACCC and AUCC that are encouraging the government to invest in rebuilding our educational infrastructure. Not only will these sorts of projects result in local jobs, but it will address urgent needs in terms of future-proofing our educational system (literally at the foundation level) while providing increased training opportunities for students and those wishing to retrain. This last point is specifically addressed by Polytechnics Canada in their recent position paper. SAIT, a member of Polytechnics Canada, was recently awarded $4 million dollars "by the Government of Canada towards a new state-of-the-art applied research centre" called Enerplus Innovation Centre:
The facility, housed within SAIT’s upcoming Trades and Technology Complex, will support small and medium-sized businesses by providing applied research services for companies in the energy, manufacturing and construction sectors. Businesses will be able to use the Centre to translate their ideas into successful applications by simulating and validating new technologies or refining products and processes.
This is exactly the sort of infrastructure spending needed that will help Canada train new generations of workers in important areas. Increasing applied research services to industry will have far reaching effects regarding increasing social and economic productivity while leveraging all aspects of the innovation chain that exists in our educational systems.

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