(VICTORIA, BC) – The creation of the Canadian Association of University Research Parks / Association Canadienne des Parcs de Recherches d'Université (AURP Canada) was announced today.  AURP Canada, which will represent 25 Canadian science, technology and research parks, will be a chapter of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), which has offices in Washington, D.C. and Tucson, Arizona.

The AURP Canada Board of Directors, drawn from representatives of six of Canada’s leading research parks, also announced the appointment of Dale Gann, Vice President of Vancouver Island Technology Park (University of Victoria) as its first President.  Mr. Gann will also serve on the AURP Board of Directors.

Research parks are economic development-oriented clusters of science and technology based organizations. AURP recently completed an economic impact study, which conservatively indicated that science parks in Canada employ over 39,000 people and contribute $3.8 billion annually to the national economy of Canada.

The newly chartered association will promote the development and operation of these parks throughout Canada, and will encourage awareness and support, representing members as an advocate, to all levels of government.

In a strong message about mobilizing science and technology as central to a strong Canadian economy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said, “I invite you to join me in making Canada a world leader in science and technology and a key source of entrepreneurial innovation and creativity”.  AURP Canada President Gann said, “we heartily accept the invitation.”

“The Provincial governments have come to the same conclusion, and through AURP Canada we can provide advice and efficiencies that will bridge the multi-level government initiatives. We must take a collective approach to truly develop Canada’s technology infrastructure,” said Gann.

AURP President, Austin Beggs, stated, “The creation of AURP Canada is timely and appropriate to support the continued development of Canada’s scientific infrastructure.  The new organization will bring enhanced recognition of the vital role that research parks play in Canada’s and the global economy. AURP looks forward to working with AURP Canada.”

As well as serving as an advocate for its members, AURP Canada will promote the interest and activities of its members – nationally and internationally, provide a forum for discussion, and share information and opinions. Its primary membership will consist of planned and operating research parks within Canada. The balance of its membership will be comprised of various university, governmental, not-for-profit and private organizations interested in the development and operation of technology projects and programs. Associate memberships will be available to suppliers of goods and services to research parks.

Please visit AURP Canada's official homepage for additional information at www.aurpcanada.ca.