October 14, 2004

Alberta Ingenuity awarded up to $9 million to establish a major new energy research centre based at the University of Calgary.

The Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy will bring together top researchers to study more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable processes and technologies to improve recovery and upgrading of Alberta's vast and virtually untapped bitumen reserves.

"The Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy is a true example of Albertan ingenuity," said Dr. Peter Hackett, Alberta Ingenuity's President and CEO. "We've got a huge source of energy in the ground that we need to find new and better ways of getting at, that are less harmful to our environment, and that ensure we continue to enjoy this resource for a long time. This Centre will integrate the exceptional people, tools, and resources needed to do just that."

The Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy may receive up to $7.5 million in funding over five years. In addition, two international science and engineering research experts, Dr. Steve Larter and Dr. Pedro Pereira Almao, have been recruited to Alberta with $1.5 million in support to lead the Centre's research program. Total Alberta Ingenuity funding for the new Centre is up to $9 million.

"The Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy reflects the exceptional quality of researchers at our province's universities. This support is vital to Alberta's ability to achieve its goals in the knowledge-based economy and we commend Alberta Ingenuity for its foresight," said Dr. Harvey Weingarten, President of the University of Calgary. "Today's announcement also adds considerable momentum to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy - which will coordinate energy- and environment-related research and education at the University."

The Centre is aligned with Alberta's Energy, Climate Change, and Water for Life strategies. "The Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy is an investment in Alberta's energy future and builds on the work we've been doing to ensure the sustainability of this important sector," said Victor Doerksen, Minister of Innovation and Science. "The Centre will complement the work being done through Energy INet and will play a key role as the Province continues to implement its energy innovation strategy."

Alberta Ingenuity supports top science and engineering researchers, researchers-in-training, and bright students at Alberta universities, public colleges and technical institutes, and in industry. Its Centre program provides support for outstanding researchers from Alberta post-secondary institutions that work in areas of strategic importance to the province. Over time, the Centres will contribute to the diversification and growth of Alberta's economy and quality of life through the technologies and jobs created.



Media contact:

Rhonda Lothammer
Alberta Ingenuity
(780) 423-5735

Greg Harris
University of Calgary
(403) 220-3506