City of Edmonton

City of Edmonton

August 30, 2005 18:22 ET

City-University Partnership in Downtown Edmonton

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, News Editor EDMONTON/ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 30, 2005) - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton City Council today unanimously voted in support of a partnership with the University of Alberta on a proposal to establish a downtown campus for Technology, Entrepreneur and Company (TEC) Development focused on the commercialization of research.

Through the partnership, the City of Edmonton will invest $12.5 million: $7.5 million to support the TEC Centre downtown campus in the former Hudson's Bay Building, a heritage building that has languished in the city centre for the past 10 years; and $5 million for TEC Edmonton, an organization supporting the creation, development and retention of spin off businesses in Edmonton. The University of Alberta's total investment will exceed $30 million.

"In ten years, I am confident that we will look back and see this announcement as pivotal to the diversification and sustainable economic development of Edmonton and Northern Alberta," says Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. "Moreover, I believe this effort will be a catalyst to the revitalization of our downtown core."

University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera says the partnership signals a new era of cooperation. "The city and university have always been key to each other's success," she says. "This gives life to our partnership while enhancing our city's wellbeing and the university's vibrancy as a leading centre of learning and research."

According to Mandel, this partnership advances both Edmonton's vision as a strong, progressive and culturally rich Capital City and the University of Alberta's reputation as a successful research engine.

Benefits of the proposal include:
- Restoration and active use of a heritage building in the heart of Edmonton
- Increased activity in the downtown core through the addition of 500 to 1000 people
- Economic diversification of Edmonton into a high-tech, knowledge-based centre
- Revitalization of the city as businesses created downtown in the TEC Centre locate in the city centre as new, private enterprises, positively influencing property values and contributing new business and property tax revenues to the City

The economic impact of commercialized research efforts of this type is substantive. Returns on research go far beyond license fees and royalties with the return on investment possible through spin off business development and job creation estimated to be four to one over ten years.

With Council approval now in place, the City and University will continue efforts to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding outlining specific governance and reporting details. With City support in place, an additional $30 million in provincial and federal financing will be sought. With financing complete, design would be advanced with construction commencing this fall. TEC Centre would be ready for operation by late 2006.
/For further information: Sandra Halme - University of Alberta

Contact Information

  • Mary Pat Barry, Manager of Communications, City of Edmonton
    Primary Phone: 780-496-8191
    Secondary Phone: 780-974-9648