$6.8 Million Offshore R&D Center Announced in St. John’s
A $6.8 million investment to establish the Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Center was announced this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The new facility will expand Memorial University of Newfoundland’s S. J. Carew Building which currently houses the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Suncor Energy is contributing $2 million and the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) is investing $4.8 million in the 1,090-square-meter extension to the building.
The Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Center will provide dedicated office space for collaboration between industry and research partners on projects related to the ocean technology and offshore petroleum sectors. Construction is slated for completion in 18 to 24 months.
A leading operator on Canada’s East Coast. Suncor Energy (formerly Petro-Canada) has a significant stake in Newfoundland and Labrador’s first two major offshore oil developments, Hibernia and Terra Nova, and interests in every other Grand Banks discovery to date.
Suncor Energy’s contribution builds on a longstanding relationship the company has with Memorial University. Suncor has provided funding for a number of Chairs, specific research programs, and investments in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Music.
RDC’s chief executive officer Glenn Janes pointed out that oil production accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the Province’s GDP. “Oil is a very significant contributor, and there’s a lot more potential to be had,” he added. “This expansion will build upon the expertise that’s already here, and it will bring more people with complementary expertise to avail of the opportunity.”
“Memorial University is leading the country in terms of both research growth and research in the offshore technology and oceans sector,” said Dr. John Quaicoe, Dean (Pro Tempore) of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University. “In the past five years our faculty has generated approximately $52 million in R&D funding, published 1,000 papers, secured 180 grants and graduated more than 200 graduate students from the program.”