President McCauley highlights important role of Canadian universities in fighting COVID-19

Presentation to Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology calls attention to role of knowledge in growing and diversifying our economy

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“Canada needs the knowledge our universities create. The world will not be standing still and our prosperity depends on it.”

That was part of a message delivered by University of Calgary President Ed McCauley as he recently spoke to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, which was conducting a study on the government’s response to the pandemic.

President McCauley was invited to share UCalgary’s response, challenges, and to share opportunities for the government to partner with universities during Canada’s pandemic recovery. He delivered his opening comments, captured on video, then answered questions alongside other presenters.

He highlighted how students, faculty, and staff pivoted rapidly to remote learning and working during the early days of the pandemic, brought home students and faculty studying abroad, ensured domestic and international students were safe, and then reached out to support the needs of the wider community.

We implemented a decade of innovation in a few weeks.

“At the same time, as a great research university, our faculty and students were engaged in national and international research programs to understand COVID-19 and reduce its impact on our health and our societies," he says.

“We worked closely with all levels of government to inform public health policy. Our spinout companies rapidly pivoted to supply much-needed products to fight the transmission of COVID-19. And our students, themselves impacted by the pandemic, stepped up to support our community.”

McCauley encouraged government investment in work-integrated learning and upskilling, research, and technology platforms. “Previous investments have paid huge dividends during COVID-19. Continuing this investment will grow and diversify the Canadian economy.”

Watch the video for President’s McCauley’s introductory remarks to the Industry Committee.