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Provincial Government

Alberta Science and Research Authority

Former Federal Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Brian Tobin examines genome research under a microscope.Established in 1994, the Alberta Science and Research Authority (ASRA) is a board of trustees, appointed by the provincial cabinet, from Alberta's business, academic and research communities. ASRA was created to promote science and research as a fundamental part of Alberta's developing knowledge-based economy. The policy of the ASRA is to stimulate scientific research and development and related areas in the province. This is done on behalf of the Alberta government and is compatible with government social and economic policy on innovation to establish Canada as a world leader in high-tech business and research and development. ASRA does not directly invest in research, but it provides strategic direction to research funding from the government. They operate in the same, following three areas as Alberta Innovation and Science

  • Energy. ASRA is committed to cooperation between Alberta's researchers and industrial processors over the long term. Their policy on energy hopes to ensure that the government invests strategically throughout the research, development and commercialization process. ASRA has established the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI)—the unified energy body for the province. AERI goals include developing cleaner-burning coal, upgrading oilsands technology, managing the province's carbon dioxide emissions, improving oil and gas production, and developing an energy research infrastructure.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT). ASRA has made significant contributions to developing an ICT infrastructure. The major project undertaken by ASRA is developing the Alberta SuperNet. The SuperNet provides affordable, high-speed network connections and Internet access to all schools, libraries, hospitals and provincial government offices. Approximately 4,700 facilities in 422 communities across Alberta are expected to receive this service within three years. The Alberta SuperNet will allow for information sharing across the province at unprecedented speeds, giving Alberta one of the world’s most advanced networks.
  • Life Sciences. ASRA has identified the life-sciences sector as an area of significant growth, expecting that life sciences will dominate the world economy by the late 2020s. In preparation for the predicted boom in this field, ASRA has created and funded many projects and companies in life sciences, including Genome Prairie. The Genome Prairie project, in partnership with Genome Canada, researches the structure and function of the human genome, the genetic building blocks contained in each person's DNA. By investing in advanced technologies such as genomics, ASRA is attempting to bring Alberta to the forefront of research and development and establish the province and the country as centres for innovation.

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