Research centres

By Eric Fung

Two researchers from the University of Calgary will be investigating complex sugars and their interactions thanks to an Albertan award.

Alberta Ingenuity–an organization funding research in science and engineering–established two research centres at the University of Alberta

with initial funding of $1.2 million each. In the next five years, they may receive up to $7 million each. The U of C’s Drs. David Schriemer and Kenneth Ng will be working at the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Carbohydrate Research; the other project is the Centre for Machine Learning.

“Our goal is to enhance research capacities,” said President Dr. Bill Bridger. “We focus on people by attracting and retaining researchers.”

Bridger compared the group, which was established in 2000 with a $500 million endowment from the Alberta government, with the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. However, its scope is broader, representing the diverse interests of engineering, agriculture, natural science, universities, and the general public on its governing board.

“We have two criteria in choosing projects,” Bridger said. “The overriding factor is quality. We’re relentlessly searching for first-class work. Second, we need the feeling that it makes sense in an Albertan context.”

In addition to establishing research centres, Alberta Ingenuity currently funds 93 graduate students with fellowships, which are awarded on the basis of a competition.

Bridger expects the next research centre competition to be announced by the end of 2002. For more information, see

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