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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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Alberta Research Council (ARC)

Alberta Research CouncilThe Alberta Research Council (ARC) is known for its scientific excellence, business knowledge, and superb facilities and global contacts. ARC was founded in 1921 as the first provincial research organization in Canada. Originally named the Science and Industrial Research Council of Alberta (SIRCA), the organization was established to help the province capitalize on its rich resource base by recording Alberta’s natural resources and mines for industry. ARC began originally with a staff of 5—one technician, two coal researchers, and two oil sands researchers. ARC laboratories were originally located on the University of Alberta campus during the 1920s. ARC started to receive funding from the National Research Council (NRC) during this period for research on Alberta’s natural gas and its potential commercial and industrial uses.

Alberta Research CouncilIn 1948, Karl Clark’s hot-water extraction process for separating oil from bitumen was implemented on a large scale. ARC was rapidly growing and moved into its own facilities; by the early 1950s it was separate from the University of Alberta. It operated as a provincial corporation under the Alberta Research Council Act until 1999 at which time it was incorporated as a not-for-profit business under the Business Corporations Act. ARC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Alberta Science and Research Authority (ASRA). Their goal is to be recognized as Canada’s leading innovation and technology commercialization organization by providing innovative science and technology solutions for the current and emerging needs of their customers in the energy, life sciences, agriculture, environment, forestry, and manufacturing sectors. ARC has evolved into one of Canada’s leading innovation organizations focused on technology development.


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