UNB receives $27.2 million for health innovation hub
January 4, 2023
SAINT JOHN – The University of New Brunswick (UNB) received an early gift this holiday season in the form of a $27.2-million commitment from the Federal Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick. The funding will go toward constructing the Health and Social Innovation Centre at UNB’s Saint John campus.
This building will be the hub for the Integrated Health Initiative, which will deliver interdisciplinary education, generate leading-edge research and innovation, foster collaboration across the health sector and improve healthcare, the health sector and the health of New Brunswickers.
“We are investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure that will support the growth of the health sciences and technology sector in the province,” said Premier Blaine Higgs (pictured). “This centre will be home to a new four-year interdisciplinary undergraduate program in health, as well as a research facility for scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs. This is an important development in the transformation of New Brunswick’s healthcare sector.”
The Health and Social Innovation Centre is a 65,000-square-foot, three-and-a-half-story space for teaching, learning, research and collaboration. It is a space for innovators to learn, collaborate and drive new approaches in health forward. The centre will also be the foundation for the proposed Health and Technology District in Saint John.
“Canadians have long been pioneers in the field of healthcare research,” said federal Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “There is a tradition of excellence and innovation that lives here – and through this partnership with the Government of New Brunswick and UNB Saint John, we are building on that legacy. All New Brunswickers and all Canadians will benefit from the work that will take place in this new facility.”
The provincial government is investing $12 million toward the project and the federal government is investing $15.2 million. The university will provide $10.8 million, which will be raised through a fundraising campaign.
“The Health and Social Innovation Centre is the hub for UNB’s Integrated Health Initiative, an ambitious program designed to transform health care through education, research, partnerships, innovation and knowledge transfer,” said university president and vice-chancellor Paul J. Mazerolle. “The federal and provincial governments’ support demonstrates that they share our vision of a Saint John-based centre of excellence with impact for our province, Atlantic Canada, as well as all of Canada.”
The goal is to have the building finished in about 20 months, in time for UNB Saint John’s 60th anniversary.
The announcement event, held in December, was emceed by Dr. Petra Hauf, UNB’s vice-president Saint John, and also included words from Wayne Long, member of parliament for Saint John-Rothesay and Trevor Holder, minister of post-secondary education, training and labour.