The Innovation Hub will be a centre for research excellence and innovation to help build and grow the promising life sciences sector of the Calgary economy. It will be used by students, researchers, start-ups and companies to interact, create and explore new ideas and concepts, as well as provide dedicated wet lab and office space for companies that are developing and growing.
For 35 years, the teams who worked at the STCC provided laboratory and technical services to Shell’s upstream and downstream businesses in Canada. This ranged from research into improving oil and gas recovery and innovations in transportation fuels and lubricants, to award-winning breakthroughs. For example, in the early 2000s a Shell employee and research partner were awarded the prestigious ASTECH innovation award for their work on improving oil sands yields using paraffinic froth treatment – now the core technology used in Alberta.
At the announcement event, Shell Canada President and Country Chair Michael Crothers shared remarks alongside Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary.
“We are pleased to be here today to pass on this building and its legacy of outstanding science and analytics to the University of Calgary,” said Michael Crothers. “Our Shell teams in this building spent decades supporting research and innovation in traditional oil and gas activities, and also the renewable energy sector, including wind energy.
“Going forward, Shell will continue to advance our research and development activities with third parties and at our other operating sites in Canada. For example, it may surprise that we drill long lateral wells in Argentina, more than 10,000 km away, from our downtown Calgary head office using remote technology.
“It’s fitting that this location will continue to spur innovation in Alberta as the new Life Sciences Innovation Hub, supporting the next generation of breakthroughs and Alberta’s future economy.”
The University of Calgary has named the main atrium entrance of the Life Sciences Innovation Hub the Shell Atrium in recognition of Shell’s generous philanthropic support toward the acquisition of this building.