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By Rebecca Cohoe

The public engagement and innovation vision for Memorial’s Battery Facility extends well past St. John’s.

The facility is intended to be a bridge between Memorial and the people and organizations of this province, no matter where they’re located.

A federal announcement has just helped bring that provincewide vision a big step closer. On April 8 the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced $4.5 million to support the innovative technologies and network upgrades that will allow connectivity across Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and beyond.

Publicly engaged

The announcement took place at the Johnson GEO Centre, right across the street from the Battery Facility, and was delivered by Judy Foote, minister, Public Services and Procurement and member of Parliament for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA.)

“ACOA’s commitment shows that this government understands the role that universities play in empowering Canadians and communities,” said Dr. Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial. “The communications technology at the Battery will provide another way for the students, faculty and staff at Memorial to collaborate with the people and groups of this province, sharing expertise and partnering on areas of importance, including social issues, health, the economy, culture and the environment. We are a publicly engaged university, committed to drawing on the knowledge inside and outside Memorial to contribute to the well-being of this place.”

Provincial relevance

The technology will also enable all of Memorial’s campuses, faculties, locations and centres to participate in and contribute to programming and projects taking place at the Battery Facility, a significant opportunity within a university as geographically distributed as Memorial.

“We believe that the Battery Facility has the potential to be a resource for the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador.” — President Kachanoski

The vision for provincial relevance also extends to the Memorial units set to become the facility’s initial tenants. The Genesis Centre, the Gardiner Centre, the Harris Centre and the Office of Public Engagement will provide publicly engaged programming from the site, helping to establish the Battery Facility as a provincial and national leader in economic and social innovation, public policy and regional development, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

“We believe that the Battery Facility has the potential to be a resource for the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador,” concluded Dr. Kachanoski. “Memorial has a strong history of collaboration with communities and organizations in this province—we see this as the next step in that well-established relationship.”


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