A new $52.75-million science centre will be built on Concordia University’s Loyola campus in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce thanks to funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The centre, which the university is calling a research and innovation hub, will become the university’s new home for applied scientific research. Marc Garneau, federal minister of transportation, said the centre will focus on biomedical products, bio products and nano materials.
The new hub will be an extension of the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex on West Broadway St., which opened in 2003.
Graham Carr, the university’s vice-president of academic affairs, said the new centre will address interdisciplinary trends in science and research by creating an open workspace that “combines the fundamental with the applied.”
“This is another factor that makes Montreal that much more appealing for students, researchers, professors and the community at large,” said Kathleen Weil, minister of immigration, diversity and inclusiveness.
About $20 million will come from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The SIF is a $2-billion fund with the specific goal to modernize research and commercialization facilities in Canadian post-secondary schools.
The Quebec government and the university will each supply about $16 million for the centre.
“Every dollar invested into infrastructure by the government will generate much more than a dollar in economic activity,” said Garneau, discussing the SIF.
Concordia president Alan Shepard specified that the new space will house Concordia’s new Department of Chemical and Material Engineering, the Centre for NanoScience Research and the Centre for Microscopy and Cellular Imaging.
He said the research done in the space will allow the university to continue exploring commercial partnerships with the aerospace, food, life science and nano science industries.
The centre will also include a space for Concordia’s District 3, a startup incubator. Unlike District 3’s current downtown location, the new space in N.D.G. will offer wet labs, where liquid chemicals or biological matter can be handled.
“Students who want to work on projects that have a direct application to the markets, let’s say in genomics, will have a chance to do that here,” Shepard said.
Construction should begin in spring 2018, with the centre expected to be open in spring 2019.