Aurora College to receive $1.69 M from the Canada Foundation for Innovation

March, 8 2021

INUVIK, NT – Aurora College will receive $1,686,897 to enhance warehouse infrastructure. This funding will be used to advance the warehouse expansion project as other co-investments are sought. The expansion as planned will support researchers working at the Western Arctic Research Centre. The funding, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) 2020 Innovation Fund, was announced today by Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories.

Aurora College is the only college among the 35 universities, hospitals and research institutions to receive an award in this competition. The CFI award is a significant investment in Aurora College research in the North.

The successfull proposal was lead by Aurora College and WARC, in partnership with researchers at the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, University of Manitoba, Sir Wilfred Laurier University, University of Alberta and University of Edinburgh.

Andy Bevan, President of Aurora College, notes that being awarded this highly competitive CFI grant highlights the College’s strength as a research institution. “As Aurora College transforms into a polytechnic university, we look forward to continuing to be a leader in creating and supporting a vibrant research community in the NWT. The transformation to a polytechnic university will also provide many opportunities for co-investment partnerships like this one that will contribute to the success of the institution.”

MP McLeod adds, "In the Northwest Territories, we know the research completed here provides valuable insights to both local residents and the wider scientific community. Through this investment, the Government of Canada is ensuring the Western Arctic Research Centre (WARC) has the necessary infrastructure in place to allow researchers to continue their important work."

This project will enhance the research support infrastructure at the Western Arctic Research Centre (WARC) with a purpose-built steel warehouse containing an unheated space for long-term equipment storage, a heated loading bay and marshalling space to support field research programs, a heated garage and a heated workshop.  This will enable WARC to meet the increased needs of the research community in the western Arctic and will also support the on-going growth of regional research activity by making it easier and more efficient for researchers to do their work.

The improved facilities will help Aurora College to continue its long history of supporting the education and training of local and external research teams. In addition to external post-graduate students and early career researchers, WARC has trained students at Aurora College and community members who attend WARC-run training workshops to gain the skills needed to work in the research sector.

Through co-investment partnership agreements such as this, Aurora College will frame how it collaborates around teaching and research with GNWT and federal departments, Indigenous governments, communities, industry, non-governmental organizations and other post-secondary institutions.

The CFI Innovation Fund provides investments in infrastructure across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied, and through to technological development.

For more information about the Canada Foundation for Innovation -