January 27, 2009 By News Report
Universities, municipal governments, and companies in Saskatchewan will be able to work together to develop innovative solutions to assess, maintain, develop, and renew vital public infrastructure and municipal services such as drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater systems. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced a renewed investment in the National Research Council Canada (NRC) Sustainable Infrastructure technology cluster initiative in Regina.
"Our government understands that investing in science and technology is essential to strengthening Canada's economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "We support Regina's sustainable infrastructure research and development because it will create jobs for today, and create innovative solutions and links between communities to generate jobs for the future."
The state of Canada's public infrastructure at the beginning of the 21st century poses one of the challenges facing all three levels of government. Investing in infrastructure innovation, including research, development, demonstration, and commercialization, serves to enhance public safety and health and reduce long-term infrastructure maintenance costs while optimizing investments.
"The excellence of Regina's sustainable infrastructure cluster stems from a deeply rooted tradition of community co-operation," said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of NRC. "The collaborations among Saskatchewan-based organizations, firms, and researchers are paramount to developing infrastructure solutions for the global market."
Innovative science- and technology-based solutions at the Regina cluster include evaluation and assessment technologies to help keep drinking water safe and the development of better methods and decision-support tools to help all levels of government efficiently manage infrastructure portfolios. The City of Regina and other municipalities partner with NRC and act as 'living laboratory' and field experiment facilities to validate solutions.
Technology clusters are broad-based community partnerships among industry, universities, colleges, and all levels of government that focus on building a competitive advantage for Canada through research and innovation. In support of the federal Science and Technology Strategy, these partnerships position communities to attract talent, investment, and economic activity, turning knowledge into innovation and innovation into greater wealth for Canadians.
This $4-million investment in the Regina cluster is part of the Government of Canada's renewed $12-million investment over two years in NRC's Round III technology cluster initiatives.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.