Published on November 15, 2018
Hundreds of business leaders tour NAIT's "front door to industry" at grand opening
EDMONTON – NAIT welcomed business and industry leaders from across the province and beyond Thursday to its state-of-the-art Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC), a facility focused on helping Alberta organizations become more competitive.
The grand opening event showcased the building’s research, innovation and productivity enhancements services. These include:
- Introducing new technologies to businesses
- Imagining, developing and testing new products, and improving existing ones
- Developing applied research solutions for issues facing industry
- Assessing and improving business practices
- Providing workforce education, with a focus on productivity
- Hosting conferences and events
The centre builds on NAIT’s history of working with industry. It is an entry point – the doorway – to services and solutions available to business and industry at multiple NAIT locations.
The centre, built with a $34.9-million contribution from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, is designed to encourage clients, partners and staff to collaborate in the flexible space.
- PIC is one of North America’s largest innovation spaces.
- Construction on the 17,650-square-metre building was completed in 18 months.
- It is home to NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability, Centre for Sensors and System Integration and other emerging research centres.
Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT President and CEO
“The Productivity and Innovation Centre is truly essential to Alberta’s future. This centre will enable organizations to become more competitive and productive. It is one of North America’s leading innovation spaces – both in size and scope. Industry and businesses are partners in all NAIT does. With the opening of PIC, this partnership is further deepened! I want to thank everyone who helped to make this project a reality – from concept to completion.”
Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament, Edmonton - Centre
“With the opening of the Productivity and Innovation Centre, NAIT will extend its role as a site for world class industry-led research and a premier destination for scientific and technological innovation in Canada. PIC will provide valuable insights to help make industry more productive and competitive now and well into the future. The Government of Canada is proud to be a partner with NAIT on this wonderful addition to our city, province and country.”
The Hon. Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta
“Albertans deserve great education and training opportunities. That’s why our government is working with post-secondary institutions to help strengthen Alberta’s economy. This state-of-the-art facility will provide research and learning opportunities for businesses and industry-focused learning and future entrepreneurs. All this supports a province with jobs and a modern and diversified economy.”
His Worship Mayor Don Iveson, City of Edmonton
“At the city, we believe emerging technologies, research and innovation are key to making Edmonton a more globally competitive place to live. The opening of NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre creates an opportunity to enhance our city’s innovative, entrepreneurial and creative urban life.”
Gayle Holtz, President, Northern Weldarc Ltd.
“NAIT helped Northern Weldarc innovate and adapt to a changing economy through leadership and technology training. By investing in our staff, we’ve come together as a company. Everyone from the shop floor to management has a voice and is working together to grow our production. We are leaders in steel fabrication as a result – no one else is like us.”
Jeff Watt, President, Energy Mining and Infrastructure, Ledcor Group
“Ledcor has always been impressed by NAIT’S ability to learn from and partner with industry to focus on solutions to important problems like improved sustainability for Canada’s oilsands. The opening of the Productivity and Innovation Centre is well positioned to benefit industry for years to come.”
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95% employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are important to Alberta’s economy. NAIT helps create competitive organizations by offering services in technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research through its Productivity and Innovation Centre.