College to add new $95-million Innovation Centre to Exchange District Campus

RRC Innovation Centre

Red River College will help create jobs, expand research and foster innovation downtown, having announced plans for the construction of a new $95-million Innovation Centre in the heart of Winnipeg Exchange’s District.

The College will use government and private-sector funding to develop the new facility, the first of its kind in Western Canada. The new Innovation Centre will attract an additional 1,200 students to the Exchange, stimulating economic development and further growth of the historic district.

The Centre will bring together students, instructors, researchers, industry and community members to work on commercialization projects for startups and SMEs. It will also enable social enterprise and Indigenous entrepreneurship, and help ensure students are job-ready and able to thrive in the economy.

“This is a major step forward for the future of Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, below). “It represents a modernization and a new approach to teaching and partnerships while still doing what RRC does best — providing job-ready grads to industry and helping to drive economic growth.”

“This historic investment … is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and startup companies into global successes.”

Of the $95.4-million investment, $40.6 million will come from the federal government and $54.8 million from RRC, which will be launching a major fundraising campaign in the coming months. The provincial government is supporting the centre through a loan guarantee for up to $54.8 million, which will help move the project forward by enabling RRC to secure a better interest rate on its project financing as it implements its fundraising campaign.

“Creating stronger linkages between post-secondary, local industry and research groups will create new opportunities for Manitoba students to gain hands-on experience and build a rewarding career,” says Ian Wishart, Education and Training Minister for Manitoba.

“Red River College is helping to lead the way in this regard. The province is pleased to support this innovative project that will enable to training of highly skilled works while providing a competitive edge to Manitoba’s economy.”

Funding for the project is being provided through the federal Post-Secondary Institution Strategic Investment Fund, designed to promote economic activities across Canada and to help Canadian universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.