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1030 FOL University of Calgary

Ed McCauley has been president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary since Jan. 1. 2019
Christina Ryan © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

It could be a discovery of a revolutionary new treatment for autoimmune disease; a newly developed technology to extract oil without carbon emissions, or a groundbreaking business strategy used by charities to better help those who desperately need it.

Each one is a green shoot of innovation sprouting from the fertile soil of one of the world’s leading centres for research and learning — the University of Calgary.

Calgary’s only research-focused post-secondary institution, UCalgary is so much more than a place of higher learning, says its president and vice-chancellor, Ed McCauley.

“We see ourselves as not only nurturing world-class talent for a growing, dynamic and bold city,” he says. “We also make discoveries that are truly game changing.”

Considered one of Canada’s leading universities, the post-secondary institution of more than 33,000 students has built a reputation as a trail-blazing research centre powered by entrepreneurial thinking.

“The University of Calgary truly reflects the character of the city itself,” says McCauley, who took on the president and vice-chancellor role on Jan. 1.

Calgary’s reputation of thinking outside the box can be seen in some of the research taking place at its state-of-the-art facilities, including the university’s Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

“That’s a great example of where we’ve partnered with the community to create research infrastructure, enabling some of our greatest discoveries to date.”

Those discoveries include developing a potential new treatment for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Yet, UCalgary isn’t just moving the research needle forward in health care. Its Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre is radically changing how non-profit organizations drive social change.

“We take the best business principles and apply those to sustainable social innovation,” says McCauley.

Elsewhere, a research program at the Schulich School of Engineering is developing industry-leading oil and gas extraction techniques that result in negative carbon emissions.

McCauley adds these discoveries are a big reason why UCalgary attracts more than $487 million in research funding annually. Its 185,000-plus alumni and the community at large also support the school through substantial, ongoing financial support that has helped it embark on large infrastructure projects without leaning significantly on government funding.

“It truly is a partnership,” McCauley says.

“Calgarians trust in what the University of Calgary can do because we have that long history of helping make things better in Calgary and beyond.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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