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December 18, 2006

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Skelton Speaks at TRLabs Funding Renewal

Thank you, David (MC, David Milne TRLabs Director),  Minister Cline, Mr. Wittal (Kym, Chairman of TRLabs’ Board of Directors), honoured guests, it’s good to see you. 

 

I’m pleased to be here today to affirm the Government of Canada’s commitment to keep the economy strong.  Through Western Economic Diversification, Canada’s New Government is keeping the West at the forefront of technology.  We are focusing on activities that support knowledge-based industries, research and development, commercialization and value-added production.  To that end, I am pleased to announce that we are demonstrating our commitment to a strong technology economy across the West with a 10 million dollar ($10 M) investment in TRLabs over the next five years.

 

Our provincial partners—the Governments of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta—are also providing significant funds toward TRLabs, as are many industry partners. 

 

TRLabs is Canada’s largest and most successful not-for-profit research consortium for information and communications technology.  It creates innovative technologies and trains students to enhance information technology expertise. With five labs across the prairies, TRLabs employs university professors, graduate students, industrial partners, and staff researchers.  This includes labs at both the University of Regina and here at the University of Saskatchewan. Today’s investment will mean approximately 2 million dollars ($2 M) for these two Saskatchewan labs.

 

Canada’s New Government is proud to take part in this innovative partnership because we are getting things done for Canadians.  TRLabs has a solid, 20-year track record of success in Saskatchwean … developing 23 patents over the past five years and producing 12 industry-commercialized technologies.  They have become a significant player in the information and communications technology industry … which is a key driver of competitiveness and productivity in virtually all of Canada’s economic sectors.  That’s why Western Economic Diversification Canada is investing in its continued success.

 

 With five labs in key cities across the Prairie Provinces, TRLabs is a strong example of the type of multi-region, multi-partner, multi-benefit activity that WD supports.  WD is generating lasting and measurable economic benefits for western Canadians.  I have been working hard to make WD more accountable.  The Department is now aligned around clear economic priorities.  These include technology commercialization, improving growth and competitiveness and strengthening trade.  Our bottom line is delivering results in cost-effective ways that ensure accountability to taxpayers.

 

Canada’s New Government delivering on our promises—and keeping a clear focus on priorities. We started by refocusing spending on priorities and reducing the national debt.  We will move forward to implement accountability measures, improve national security and ensure we have clean air for our children to breathe.  We are restoring the confidence of taxpayers by ensuring responsible financial management and, most important of all, by keeping the economy strong.

 

Canada's New Government recently released Advantage Canada, a long-term, national economic plan designed to make Canada an economic leader.  Advantage Canada identifies a need to retain and attract the best talent in the world—innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, risk takers and achievers.

TRLabs is doing exactly that. Last year, TRLabs’ Saskatoon and Regina outlets helped more than 150 Masters and PhD students in Computer and Electrical Engineering finish their programs and take the practical skills they gained into the marketplace.

 

We support people that are converting bright ideas into new products and services – that are generating more economic growth and creating new, well-paying jobs for Canadians.  With that in mind, our investment today is well placed because TRLabs is developing compelling research that benefits Canadians.

 

To give you an example, TRLabs researchers were granted the Regina Chamber of Commerce’s Paragon Award of Innovation for their work on real-time collaboration across networks.  Not to be outdone, Saskatoon TRLabs researchers have teamed up with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan. Using synchrotron technology at the Canadian Light Source, they are now fabricating micro and nano scaled devices.  To top it off, TRLabs has developed Fiberlink, a new product that pumps high-speed Internet through existing telephone lines. This technology is already allowing telephone carriers in Saskatchewan to expand their high-speed coverage into rural areas.

 

Canada’s New Government is very proud to support this type of work through TRLabs as we work together towards building a stronger economy.  On behalf of Canada’s New Government and Western Economic Diversification Canada, I would like to congratulate Mr. Witall from the TRLabs board as well as David Milne and all of the staff here on the success TRLabs has achieved over the past twenty years.  Your efforts are the building blocks for vibrant and healthy communities in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

 

Thank you.

 
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