Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canada’s investments in education, technology creating jobs

December 4, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Investments under Canada’s Economic Action Plan are helping to build a strong, innovative Canadian economy through the funding of science, technology and research.

“Investing in science and technology is crucial to developing highly skilled workers and researchers and improving the long-term competitiveness of Canadian firms,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “Through our Economic Action Plan, we are investing about $5 billion in science and technology initiatives — one of the largest ever single investments in science and technology in Canada. This funding is creating jobs for today, and creating opportunities for the future.”

Funding includes investments in two key areas: post-secondary education and research, including the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which supports deferred maintenance, repairs and construction at Canadian post-secondary institutions; and direct support for science and technology, including approximately $3 billion for measures to modernize federal laboratories and foster research in clean energy and space technology, among others.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program has already seen success in communities across Canada. The program’s full $2 billion in federal funding has been committed, and this funding has leveraged additional funding from the provinces, territories and other sources such as the institutions themselves, resulting in a total investment of $5 billion.

More than 71 percent of all projects funded under the program are complete or underway — creating jobs for engineers, architects and those in the construction trades. For example, a project at St. Clair College in Ontario is expected to create 1,500 jobs in the province and another 280 across Canada. A project at Concordia University in Montreal is projected to create and maintain up to 290 jobs by March 31, 2011, and construction at the University of Calgary will require the equivalent of 175 full-time workers by the completion of the project in 2010.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan is also supporting innovation at small and medium-sized enterprises across the country, by providing $200 million over two years to the National Research Council Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. This funding is doubling the program’s contributions budget and will allow companies to hire more than 1,000 new post-secondary graduates in business and science.

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