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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Trent University Receives $8.1 Million in Federal and Provincial Funding to Create Bata Research and Innovation Cluster

Funding to support $18 million evolution of library of the future

Two floors of Trent University’s iconic Bata Library will undergo a $18 million transformation into the Bata Research and Innovation Cluster as a result of $8.1 million in funding announced today from the federal government’s Strategic Investment Funds and additional provincial contributions.

The new Bata Research and Innovation Cluster will include multiple centres dedicated to research and innovation, intensely interactive student spaces, and design elements to promote environmental sustainability. The cluster will be a nexus of knowledge mobilization that enhances student entrepreneurship, research on aging and the environment, and work with Indigenous peoples and communities.

“This significant investment in the infrastructure of our Symon’s Campus will build on Trent’s renowned interactive learning and research model through state-of-the-art infrastructure and environmentally-sound design,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “The funding received from the federal and provincial governments, combined with commitments from the library and generous donors, will revolutionize the research and collaborations that take place at the Bata Library as it becomes a third millennium research, innovation, and entrepreneurship hub.”

The funding will be used to create the Bata Research & Innovation Cluster, which will be supported by $7 million in funding from the federal government Strategic Investment Fund; $1.1 million in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and $3.9 million in University contributions. Another $2 million of will be from a fundraising campaign, with $1 million already raised thanks to a philanthropic donation in 2015 from longtime supporters of Trent University, David and Joan Moore. Mr. and Mrs. Moore donated to Trent University’s $50 million fundraising campaign, Unleash the Potential, the University’s most ambitious philanthropy campaign to date. At its December 2016 meeting, the Board of Governors approved an increase to the original budget of $14 million to a minimum of $18 million to allow the University to address issues of deferred maintenance during the extensive renovation process. 

The transformation will be carried out in a way that maintains and enhances a historically-significant building designed by one of Canada’s most renowned architects, Ron Thom. The project will demonstrate ways to combine a commitment to nationally-important architecture with a contemporary need for digital infrastructure, and for sustainable design that furthers Canada’s climate change agenda. Some design and infrastructure features may include a green wall at the centre of the Bata Library, and high performance computing and data analytics to support research and innovation for faculty, staff, students and industry.

“I’m thrilled to announce this funding under the Strategic Investment Fund for Trent University, which will continue to build on a strong tradition of innovation here in Peterborough-Kawartha,” said the Honourable Maryam Monsef ‘03, minister of Democratic Institutions, member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, and a Trent alumna. “Investments like these will support our world-class researchers at home, while positioning Canada as a global leader in research excellence and innovation. Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are providing Canada’s students with the education and training they need to join a strong, healthy middle class.”

"Our government is proud to support this important project, which will give Trent students access to a renewed and upgraded facility in their new Bata Research and Innovation Cluster,” said the Honourable Jeff Leal ‘74, member of Provincial Parliament, minister of Agriculture and a Trent alumnus. ”We know that providing access to high-quality education and training facilities is critical to building the highly-skilled workforce we need to support good jobs and economic growth for today and tomorrow, and this investment will help us to do it."

The investment of federal Strategic Investment Funds and provincial funding will expedite the realization of a Trent plan to make research, and innovation central elements of the University. More information is available at trentu.ca/batacluster. Combined with the development of the Trent Research and Innovation Park, it will accelerate Trent's development as a key economic driver in Peterborough, in Indigenous communities, and in Eastern Ontario.

Posted on October 12, 2016