Aurora College is receiving just over $1.6 million in federal funding to help enhance the infrastructure at the Western Arctic Research Centre in Inuvik.
The expansion will see a purpose-built steel warehouse containing an unheated space for long-term equipment storage, as well a heated loading bay and marshalling space to support field research programs, along with a heated garage and workshop.
President of Aurora College Andy Bevan says this will help them continue supporting the education and training of local and external research teams.
“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,” says Bevan
Prior to Covid-19 restrictions on international travel, the WARC supported more than 200 researchers and students annually.
That number is expected to continue growing with the increased international focus on northern research and climate change.
Bevan says $2 million is still needed before the project is fully funded and that once the money is received, construction will begin in under a year.
Aurora College is currently in the midst of transitioning into a polytechnical university by the year 2025.
Bevan says the transformation to a polytechnic university will provide many opportunities for co-investment partnerships like this one that will contribute to the success of the College.
“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,” he adds.
Aurora College is the only college among the 35 universities, hospitals and research institutions to receive funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s 2020 Innovation Fund.