A Health, Social Innovation Centre For UNBSJ

Officials from the University of New Brunswick, and the federal and provincial governments, unveiled funding Monday for a health and social innovation centre at UNB Saint John.

A release says officials announced $38 million for the centre. The province will invest $12 million, the federal government will invest $15.2 million, and UNB will provide $10.8 million.

Premier Blaine Higgs said the investment in “state-of-the-art infrastructure” will support the growth of New Brunswick’s health sciences and technology sector.

“This centre will be home to a new four-year interdisciplinary undergraduate program in health, as well as a research facility for scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Higgs.

“This is an important development in the transformation of New Brunswick’s health-care sector.”

UNB plans to demolish the currently-vacant Ward Chipman Library to make way for a new three-and-a-half-storey building to house the centre.

Overlooking the campus quad and the Kennebecasis River, the centre will be connected to nearby walking paths, an underground tunnel system and a ring road.

The university says the centre plans to offer numerous community programs and feature a low carbon footprint through green building standards and prominent green space.

UNB President and Vice-Chancellor Paul Mazerolle said the centre is the hub for the university’s integrated health initiative, which seeks to transform health care.

Dominic LeBlanc, Canada’s minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities, said the announcement builds on Canada’s legacy as a pioneer in health-care research.

“All New Brunswickers and all Canadians will benefit from the work that will take place in this new facility,” he said.

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