Enhancing innovation and competitiveness in Alberta’s construction industry
By Adam FreillConstruction
SAIT Alternative Construction Technologies Centre to support the commercialization of novel construction technologies and solutions.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is a step closer to having a centre to explore and create innovative technologies used in Canada’s construction industry. The federal government has provided more than $2.5 million in funding to establish the Alternative Construction Technologies Centre.
The new facility will bring together the manufacturing, automation and robotics, material science, and construction sectors to create innovative technologies used in the construction industry. It will be home to specialized equipment and laboratories that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to develop, test, and commercialize new products, processes and services.
Speaking on behalf of Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, explained that the aim of the facility is to lower the cost of construction projects while allowing them to be completed faster, at a higher quality and with less environmental impact.
“With the launch of the Alternative Construction Technologies Centre, SAIT is creating an exciting space for industry collaboration, education, and product development to help keep Alberta at the forefront of innovation in the construction sector,” he said. “I’m proud that our government is investing in this project and helping to ensure that Calgary is home to the knowledge, resources and skills needed for Alberta’s construction sector to thrive.”
The construction industry is a major driver of Alberta’s economy, employing thousands of workers across the province and contributing billions in economic activity. Across Canada, the sector has a need of skilled talent to build infrastructure, affordable housing, and facilities that Canadians use every day.
“This investment in smart manufacturing and materials will create vital new opportunities to collaborate with industry in their efforts to advance faster, greener and more affordable home construction,” stated David Ross, president and CEO of SAIT. “As a leading talent provider and one of Canada’s top five research colleges, SAIT is committed to supporting the ongoing transformation of manufacturing and industrial processes in the construction technology sector as a key driver of economic growth throughout the province.”
The Alternative Construction Technologies Centre will support roughly 50 small- and medium-sized firms, and is expected to lead to 50 new jobs and training for about 60 students and industry personnel over the next four years. It is expected to be fully operational by 2025.