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Algoma U breaks ground on biosciences, tech centre

By Carol Martin
SooToday.com
Friday, September 11, 2009

Algoma University's new Biosciences and Technology Convergence Centre is a symbol of change and innovation says Dean Arthur Perlini.

"From the origination of an idea to its transformation into something useful, this building is a symbol of change," Perlini told guests gathered today at a groundbreaking ceremony for the university's $16-million campus expansion.

The ceremony began with a site blessing from First Nation elder Curtis Hopkins.

Speakers included Sault MP Tony Martin, MPP David Orazietti, Mayor John Rowswell and dignitaries from various stakeholders in the project.

"Innovation is about bringing ideas to life," Perlini said. "This building will be a monument to innovation."

The Algoma University Biosciences and Technology Convergence Centre will enhance the innovation, development and commercialization of technology, Perlini said.

The building is designed by David Ellis and his team.

View architect's rendering

Crews were preparing the construction site as the ceremony progressed today in the university's north parking lot near the Algoma U residence.

Essential completion of the centre is expected in March 2011, with an official opening and occupation in time for the beginning of the school year in September of that year, said Algoma University President Dr. Celia Ross.

The full text of releases from Algoma University and from Sault MPP David Orazietti follows.

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Algoma University celebrates groundbreaking of $16 million campus expansion project

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON. – (September 11) - The groundbreaking ceremony for the new home for bioscience research and study, computer games technology research and health informatics research at Algoma University drew a group of government, community and university dignitaries and supporters today.

This $16 million Biosciences and Technology Convergence Centre, located on the campus of Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, will bring together teaching, research and commercial activities in a dynamic atmosphere to foster innovation and growth.

Along with teaching and faculty research labs, established enterprises, like the internationally recognised Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, will anchor the facility.

Another tenant will be the newly-launched Algoma Games for Health, a design studio bringing computer games technology to the delivery of health care and rehabilitation services.

Algoma Games for Health will provide research and development expertise to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

MPP David Orazietti, MP Tony Martin, Mayor John Rowswell, and Darrell Boissoneau, president of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, were among the dignitaries on hand to celebrate the start of construction of the convergence centre.

Algoma University received federal and provincial funding totalling $16 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and Ontario’s 2009 budget to construct the Biosciences and Technology Convergence Centre.

Dr. Celia Ross, president, Algoma University, said: “This project will support scientific and research work in Northern Ontario. Students will benefit from the opportunities to be involved in both academic research and in development of new technologies for commercialization.”

Dr. Ross said she was grateful for the support of so many people in the community.

She said that Algoma University owed much to the hard work of MPP David Orazietti over the past few years.

She also acknowledged the support of MP Tony Martin and Mayor John Rowswell as being critical to the success of the university’s application for the funding for the convergence centre.

To learn more about Algoma University, visit www.algomau.ca

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