By Jason Herring, November 21 2018 —
The Government of Alberta has transferred ownership of the University Research Park to the University of Calgary, the province announced on Nov. 15.
The transfer comprises 76 acres of land and three buildings at the University Research Park, located next to the Brentwood CTrain Station, north of the U of C main campus. The land, which the U of C did not pay to acquire, contains current leases and is valued at $97 million. A number of Calgary tech and energy companies currently call the park home, including SMART Technologies and Computer Modelling Group Ltd.
The U of C expects the park to create over 6,000 new jobs in the next 20 years, the majority of those within the private sector. The school itself plans to create “a new innovation and research cluster” and “establish a space equipped to drive innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in the Calgary region,” according to their press release.
According to the university, the acquisition reflects their goal to become a top-five research university in the country by 2022. The U of C currently sits sixth in those rankings, behind the fifth-place University of Alberta. Rankings are determined annually by schools’ income for sponsored research.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the transfer will benefit students by creating more research spaces.
“Students at the University of Calgary as well as the private sector will be the direct beneficiaries of this fantastic initiative,” Notley said in a press release. “This research park will help them be innovative and creative as Alberta’s economy continues to diversify while also creating the jobs needed in a rapidly changing marketplace.”
In their news release, the U of C touted “transformative changes” to the University Research Park. However, the university says they have nothing to announce at the time as to what those changes will look like, instead citing the acquisition’s importance for driving innovation and creating jobs.