$126 million for energy building at SFU Surrey campus announced

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Federal and BC gov’ts to fund $126 million SFU energy building

The federal and BC gov’ts announced Today joint funding for a $126 million “energy systems building” at SFU Surrey campus.

The five-storey, 15,000-square-metre facility will be the used for degree programs in energy systems – in the energy, hydrogen, electricity and liquefied natural gas sectors – and environmental engineering, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark said after meeting students at the SFU campus in Surrey.   The building will also accommodate SFU’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering program, which “combines the fields of mechanical, electrical and software engineering with entrepreneurship and business,” according to a news release.  “The new space will be dedicated to students commercializing their research through the Technology Entrepreneurship program.”

Each government is contributing $45 million, while SFU and private donors are putting up $26 million to fund a second phase of the project. The university is also providing land valued at $10 million.  “This once-in-a-generation investment is a historic leap to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” Trudeau said in a statement released to the media at the event.  “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and start-up companies into global successes.”

Clark, in her contribution to the joint statement, said the building will “help ensure British Columbians are first in line” for highly-paid, innovation-based jobs.  The announcement, while lining up with the federal government’s innovation agenda, also plays into the federal party’s political strategy that is aimed at securing its major gains throughout Metro Vancouver, including Surrey, in the 2015 election.

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