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REF NO.: 91

SUBJECT: New $6.8-million R&D centre open for business at Memorial University

DATE: Dec. 5

Construction of a new offshore research and development centre at Memorial University is complete, paving the way for increased collaborative research focused on solving technical challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador industries.

The new Suncor Energy Offshore R&D Centre will house innovative ocean- and offshore engineering-related R&D projects that will be carried out in collaboration with local and global industry partners. It is estimated that the new expansion will help grow Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science R&D by $6 to 8 million per year over the next five years and will involve approximately 100 full-time equivalent researchers.

“Public-private collaboration is critical for economic diversification in this province,” said Darin King, minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, and minister responsible for the Research & Development Centre (RDC). “Having dedicated R&D space such as this will allow Memorial University’s research teams to collaborate with local technology and offshore companies with greater ease.”

The 1,320-square-metre expansion to the Engineering building on Memorial’s St. John’s campus was made possible through investments of $4.8 million from the RDC and $2 million from Suncor Energy. This contribution from Suncor was received in 2011 through Memorial’s Dare To fundraising campaign.

“With the completion of this new R&D centre, we are resolving a space constraint and enabling an increase in focused R&D performed in this province,” said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer, RDC. “These R&D projects are crucial for the future of our ocean and offshore industries, and I look forward to many new developments emerging from this expanded collaborative research centre.”

The new facility builds on a long-standing relationship between Suncor and Memorial University.

“Legendary innovators past and present have shown us that time, effort and collaboration are key ingredients to success in research and development,” said Brent Janke, vice-president, East Coast Canada, Suncor Energy. “This space provides a place where all of these ingredients can come together to enhance the research and development capability in our province. Suncor is pleased to be involved.”

“Memorial University has some of the top researchers and expertise in the world in the areas of offshore engineering,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “The Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Centre has created a collaborative space for faculty, graduate students and industry partners to advance their cutting-edge research and to further elevate Memorial’s status as a centre of expertise in offshore research and development.”

Backgrounder

The expansion to the S.J. Carew (Engineering) building provides research teams at Memorial University with a new integrated space to collaborate with local technology and offshore companies. The centre will also allow the university to increase its contract research related to the ocean/offshore engineering sector and develop highly qualified personnel in these areas.

 

This infrastructure project received an investment of $4.8 million from RDC and $2 million from Suncor Energy. The building has been under construction since spring of 2012 after its official announcement in February 2011. Funding from RDC comes from its R&D Infrastructure Program. RDC issued a $10-million competitive call for R&D infrastructure proposals focused on research tools and equipment and R&D platforms to encourage collaboration with industry.

About RDC

The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador’s research and development  performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in highly qualified people, R&D infrastructure and innovative research. For more information about RDC, visit www.rdc.org.

About Suncor Energy

Suncor Energy is Canada's leading integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability, FTSE4Good and CDP indexes, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio. Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index and the Corporate Knights' Global 100. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

Suncor Energy operates the Terra Nova development, which is located offshore St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Terra Nova covertures are Suncor Energy (37.675 per cent), ExxonMobil (19 per cent), Statoil (15 per cent), Husky Energy (13 per cent), Murphy Oil (10.475 per cent), Mosbacher Operating (3.85 per cent), and Chevron Canada (one per cent). Suncor Energy is the operator of the Terra Nova project.

For more information about Suncor Energy, visit suncor.com, follow us on Twitter @SuncorEnergy, read our blog, OSQAR or come and See what Yes can do.

About Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University is one of the largest universities in Atlantic Canada. As the province's only university, Memorial plays an integral role in the education and cultural life of Newfoundland and Labrador. Offering diverse undergraduate and graduate programs to almost 18,000 students, Memorial provides a distinctive and stimulating environment for learning in St. John's, a safe friendly city with great historic charm, a vibrant cultural life and easy access to a wide range of outdoor activities.

About Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University is undergoing major growth with plans to double by 2020. This includes significantly expanding research capacity and industrial collaborations. The annual external research funding of faculty members currently exceeds $16 million. The completion of the Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Centre will allow the faculty to pursue more partnerships that will further increase research funding ability.

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 For more information, please contact Jackey Locke, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, at (709) 864-8282, 709-691-5027, jackey.locke@mun.ca; John Downtown, manager, communications and stakeholder relations, offshore operations exploration and production, Suncor Energy Inc., at (709) 778-3692, jdownton@suncor.com; Chris Flanagan, director, marketing and communications, Research & Development Corporation, at (709) 758-1021, 709-691-1009, chrisflanagan@rdc.org; Tansy Mundon, director, communications, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, at (709) 729-4570, 693-1865, tansymundon@gov.nl.ca.

 

           

 

 

       

 

 

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