Economic efficiency, social equity and environmental accountability are all important to Alectra and these same values resonate with changemakers at Georgian College.
Thanks to a $750,000 investment over five years from Alectra Inc., Georgian students and faculty working with industry partners will have a state-of-the-art facility for changemaking research, innovation and commercialization pursuits.
Alectra President and CEO Brian Bentz and Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes announced the investment on May 10 inside Georgian’s Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre (ATIRC), currently under construction at the Barrie Campus. To emphasize the deep partnership the two organizations share, Bentz was accompanied by several Alectra employees who are also Georgian alumni to assist in making the announcement.
“Our investment in this Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre demonstrates how our support of the communities we serve extends beyond the poles, wires and transformers found in our distribution system,” explained Bentz. “Once it is completed, this facility will provide students with opportunities to learn about the use of cutting-edge technologies needed to be part of tomorrow’s workforce.”
Standing inside an 8,000-square-foot research-rich environment located on the first floor of the ATIRC, the soon to be named Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization will be the focal point and heart of the building. It is the only one of its kind in Central Ontario, a go-to source to test concepts, accelerate development and showcase promising research and new products.
West-Moynes said the ATIRC will be a game changer.
“We are determined to advance the research and innovation agenda at Georgian and across the regions we serve, and could not be more thrilled than to have Alectra partner with us on this important mission,” she said.
In addition to its financial investment in infrastructure, Alectra will continue to participate in applied research with the college and create opportunities for co-op students and graduates, particularly from the electrical engineering programs.
The ATIRC will be home to new engineering and environmental sustainability degree-diploma programs in partnership with Lakehead University that deliver the best of college and university combined.
Through its legacy utility PowerStream, Alectra is a long-time supporter of Georgian College, previously investing in the college’s Centre for Sustainable Technologies and electric vehicle charging station.