Concordia will receive $6.24 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to fund an Interdisciplinary Research Facility for Innovative Applications of Information Technologies.
The grant, announced in June by Industry Minister John Manley, is one of the largest by the CFI to a Quebec university. The fund was set up in 1997 by the federal government to disburse $1 billion for the renewal of Canada's medical and research infrastructure.
By the time federal approval was granted, the Quebec government had already made a commitment to match the CFI grant. With the participation of several industry partners, roughly $15.6 million has now been earmarked for the new research facility, which will be built on the northwest corner of Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts.
Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Nabil Esmail was delighted with the acceptance of the project. "This financial support means a tremendous amount to our Faculty. It will help make our dream of a new engineering building become a reality," he said.
The intent is to create a synergistic environment for engineers, computer scientists and artists. Ten research groups in various aspects of information technology will work side by side in new laboratories. Some of these groups, such as the Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab, are well established, while others, like the Advanced Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, are quite new.
The new building is a key element of a master space plan for both campuses that has been drawn up over the summer for presentation to the Rector's Cabinet and the Board Governors. It will likely be presented to the City of Montreal later this month. A new science building for the Loyola Campus is another major component.
While the City studies the plan with regard to its own regulations and policies, invitations to participate in an architectural competition will be issued to firms across Canada. "We want to create something the whole city can be proud of," Rector Frederick Lowy said recently.