News Release Archive

Premier John Savage said today that the new fund for research
infrastructure -announced yesterday in the federal budget -is
"tailor-made for Nova Scotia."

Premier Savage said, "Nova Scotia has a leading edge community of
researchers in science and technology. We have the
internationally recognized talent, we have some of the best
universities and research institutes in the world. Now the
federal government has made a commitment to invest in the kind of
laboratory infrastructure that is needed to support this sector
well into the future."

The federal government announced it will invest $800 million over
five years in a Canada Foundation for Innovation. The foundation
will operate at arm's length from government, through
partnerships with the private sector, universities, colleges, and
interested provincial governments. On this basis, the foundation
expects to trigger about $2 billion to support innovative capital
research projects at post-secondary institutions and associated
Details of how the money will be allocated have yet to be
announced by the federal government. However, Premier Savage said
he believes that Nova Scotia projects can successfully compete
with the best in Canada.
"I want Nova Scotia to be first off the mark in taking advantage
of this opportunity," said Premier Savage. The premier has asked
his ministers to get details to private industry, universities
and associated hospitals as quickly as they become available.

The premier said a number of government departments, including
the Economic Renewal Agency, Education and Culture and the
Technology and Science Secretariat, have lobbied aggressively for
this kind of infrastructure investment, because it underpins a
very promising sector of Nova Scotia's economy.
"Science, engineering, health and the environment - these are
precisely the areas we are targeting in Nova Scotia as strategic
economic growth areas, said Economic Renewal Minister Richie
Mann. "Combine this with the fact that Nova Scotia has more
universities per capita than any other province in Canada - the
result is a launching pad that will see research and new economic
opportunities really take off in Nova Scotia."
Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison said the timing is
perfect, with the province beginning work on a provincial
research policy in partnership with universities and the private
sector.  "Government recognized the need for a provincial
research policy that supports our strategic priorities, said the
minister. "This funding will give the policy a real purpose, and
act as an incentive to keep moving forward in Nova Scotia."
The Minister responsible for the Technology and Science
Secretariat, Gerald O'Malley, also welcomed the announcement.
"Nova Scotia's science and technology community is world class,
in part because of the infrastructure we have built up in the
province and the many innovative partnerships that have been
forged between our universities and private industry", said the
minister. "The allocation of $800 million in federal dollars
towards science and technology research and development in the
provinces will help to further grow what is already here - a
dynamic and prospering science and technology community that is
making a major contribution to the Nova Scotia economy."
Premier Savage noted the timing of this announcement in relation
to the amalgamation of Dalhousie and the Technical University of
Nova Scotia, taking effect on April 1. "The federal  announcement
is a real boost to a merger of two universities that is already
expected to strengthen Nova Scotia's position as a leader in
information technology and research, while enhancing economic
growth," said the premier.
"At the same time, we must ensure that all our institutions have
a fair opportunity to compete for this funding if they are
pursuing research in areas related to the Foundation of
There are already any number of research initiatives underway in
the province that might qualify under the new program. Examples
include the Octopus Diagnostics Research at Acadia University,
that recently announced its development of an HIV test kit; the
Cape Breton Technology Enterprise Centre at the University
College of Cape Breton, that is bringing the private sector, the
university community and the government together in developing
commercial applications for technology research, and a number of
innovative research projects in the agri-food area currently
being explored at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro.
Contact:  Ann Graham Walker 902-424-2590          
          Donna MacDonald   902-424-2615

jlw                       Feb. 19, 1997 6:00 p.m.