Two biomedical engineering research centres to open on campus

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The opening of two new biomedical research centres was announced Tuesday at the University of Calgary. The centres were created to improve the health of both Canadians and their economy.

Biovantage: Alberta Ingenuity Centre, the first of the centres, will deliver biomedical solutions to medical problems ranging from cardiovascular and bone to brain diseases thanks to a provincial investment of $7.4 million.

The second centre, the Bose Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Technology Development Centre, a $7.3 million collaboration between the U of C and the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement, will amalgamate industry expertise and advanced infrastructure to produce innovation and product development.

Together the centres are expected to "foster innovation and commercialization of biomedical technologies."

"Biomedical engineering is a high-priority area for the University of Calgary and these new centres will ensure that our research translates into products and services that will improve our quality of life and stimulate the economy," said U of C president Harvey Weingarten.

"They also provide a significant educational opportunity for our students and researchers to think creatively and develop devices for a more efficient and effective health-care system."

However the implications of these new research centres reach far beyond the U of C.

Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Minister Doug Horner emphasized Alberta's outstanding biomedical research community is part of what attracts industry to the province and that the centres will add to an already strong biomedical community, thereby extending its international reach.

Federal MP and Small Business and Tourism Minister Diane Ablonczy corroborated Horner's sentiments.

"This initiative at the University of Calgary will contribute to strengthening our ability to compete in global markets," she said.

"Technology commercialization is a key driver of Canada's competitiveness and prosperity and is at the heart of diversifying the Western Canadian economies."