President's Report 2006 | Campus Life

Inco Innovation Centre officially opens

It's a gleaming piece of modern architecture shining out of the centre of the St. John's campus of Memorial University. It represents the university's commitment to innovation in research and teaching and will also enhance Memorial's community-oriented focus.

On Sept. 20, 2005 representatives of Memorial University, the provincial and federal governments and Inco Ltd. officially opened the Inco Innovation Centre (IIC), a new $17.3 million research and innovation facility located on the university's St. John's campus.

Inco Ltd. committed $13 million towards the capital cost of the facility and $1 million annually for seven years for operations and maintenance. The federal government, — primarily through the Atlantic Opportunities Agency's Business Development Program and the Atlantic Innovation Fund, has invested over $23 million over a five-year period in support of ongoing research and development in the IIC.

Containing some 9,000 square metres, the Inco Innovation Centre houses a wide range of research, business support and educational facilities on three floors. Research related to geosciences, hydrometallurgy and the Voisey's Bay mineral deposit are concentrated on the first floor of the building. Also on the first level are labs for health, safety and risk engineering, and process engineering and corrosion reduction. The building is also designed to house a small scale model of a hydrometallurgical plant.

Operations at the new facility will not be restricted to the mining industry. The IIC will also play a role in social science research and knowledge transfer. For example, the facility houses the offices of Dr. David Natcher, the Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies and the Centre for Aboriginal Research. In his research, Dr. Natcher is exploring alternative models of community development that take into account not only Labrador's commercial development versus the subsistence needs of its Aboriginal peoples, but also other factors such as Aboriginal health, nutritional status, educational achievement, access to desired resources, and Aboriginal rights.

For more on the opening of the Inco Innovation Centre, click here