Construction Complete on GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre Laboratory
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
BEAVERLODGE – Construction has been completed on the Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) laboratory. The project expanded NBDC’s floor space from 265 to 865 square metres for additional workstations, diagnostic equipment, and office spaces.
The new building will house both NBDC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Honey Bee Research Program. NBDC will now be able to collaborate more easily with its research partners at AAFC.
The NBDC expansion project was made possible by funds from the federal and provincial governments via the Post-secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (PSIF). In May 2017, the provincial and federal governments awarded more than $21.5 million in funding to four Alberta colleges for reinvestment in research and innovation activities. The expansion was funded using a combined total of $6 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments as well as the College.
“This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “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. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive.”
“The laboratory will not only give us more space; it will allow us to increase our capacity,” said Patricia Wolf Veiga, Acting Manager at NBDC. “With our previous equipment and lab set-up, we were able to conduct around 20,000 diagnostic tests per year. Our estimation is that the expansion will increase that number to around 60,000.”
“We’re excited for what this expansion means for our research partnership,” said Steve Pernal, Officer-in-Charge at AAFC Beaverlodge Research Farm. “We have always shared knowledge, tools, and processes; now to share the same physical space will open up new possibilities.”
“We’ve been impressed with the speed and efficiency of this expansion project and are delighted to see it finished” said Dr. Kazem Mashkournia, Interim Vice-President Academics and Research. “Now we are excited to see NBDC enter this new phase of operations and continue their excellent work supporting Canada’s beekeeping industry.”
GPRC is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. Established in 1966 in Grande Prairie, GPRC now includes campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and learning centres in Edson, Grande Cache, Hinton and Jasper. GPRC offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities. For more information, visit gprc.ab.ca.
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