Establishment of a mechanism to transfer knowledge and research to SMEs - Canada's new government awards $6.6 million in funding to the Université de Sherbrooke



    SHERBROOKE, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - While passing through the region
today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Member of Parliament for
Mégantic-L'Erable and Secretary of State for Agriculture, announced on behalf
of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of
Canada Economic Development, that the Université de Sherbrooke will receive
$6.6 million in non-repayable funding from Canada's new government to
establish the Centre d'excellence en génie de l'information (CEGI).
    This centre of international calibre will be dedicated to conducting
research in collaboration with the industry. Located on the Université de
Sherbrooke campus, the CEGI will offer a range of interdisciplinary research
activities associated with information engineering and include the involvement
of the faculties of engineering, science, medicine, health sciences and
physical and sports education.
    The contribution from Canada Economic Development will serve initially to
equip the CEGI with a scientific experimentation hall that, the only one of
its kind in Canada and abroad, will seek to accelerate the transfer of new
technologies for industrial applications in such leading-edge sectors as
telecommunications, telehealth, bio-engineering, micro/nanotechnologies and
robotics.
    The CEGI will then proceed with the installation of world-class,
state-of-the-art micro- and nano-fabrication facilities (cleanrooms) for the
rapid prototyping of photonic and electronic sensors and components. These
facilities will complement the existing manufacturing line and meet the
demands of industrial stakeholders.
    "Today's announcement reflects the determination of Canada's new
government to invest in the knowledge-based economy. Our economic plan
provides for more than $500 million in funding over the next year to support
the modernization of research infrastructure in our universities, colleges,
research hospital and other establishments throughout Canada," stated the
Secretary of State.
    The CEGI project will help optimize synergy among innovation
stakeholders, foster the transfer of knowledge to small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) and promote the development of a highly qualified labour
force.  By the year 2017, some 50 existing SMEs and spin-off companies are
expected to have associated themselves with the work of the CEGI so as to
bolster their performance, rapidly develop innovative products and accelerate
the marketing of these innovations.
    "I am also delighted that the establishment of the CEGI will help
consolidate 48 jobs and create an additional 36 research positions within the
next 10 years. It is estimated that about 100 jobs requiring highly-skilled
labour will be created within existing SMEs and another 50 within spin-off
enterprises as a result of this project. The CEGI is therefore sure to have a
major impact on Quebec's information technology industry and to help that
industry increasingly hold its own in the face of world competition," the
Secretary of State concluded.




For further information:

For further information: Lyne Montpellier, Communications, Canada
Economic Development, (819)371-5182, 1-800-567-8637,
lyne.montpellier@dec-ced.gc.ca; Mark Quinlan, Communications Director, Office
of the Honourable Christian Paradis, (613)759-1107, quinlanm@agr.gc.ca; Canada
Economic Development is online at www.dec-ced.gc.ca. Subscribe to the Agency's
press releases at
www.dec-ced.gc.ca/asp/SalleNouvelles/acces_personnalise.asp?LANG=EN to keep up
with the latest news.


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