University of Waterloo to build state-of-the-art Science Complex with $24.7 million federal funding

Friday, July 31, 2015

The University of Waterloo will build a state-of-the-art Science Complex to grow capacity for cutting-edge research, experiential education and science-based entrepreneurship thanks to a $24.7 million contribution from the Government of Canada.

Science ComplexA rendering of the new Science Complex at Waterloo.

The new $95 million Science Complex will expand laboratory space at Waterloo by more than 40,000 square feet for innovation in bio-based chemistry, materials and nanoscience, quantitative biology, metagenomics and synthetic biology.

“Waterloo’s reputation for innovation is rooted in the world-class research that takes place here. Today’s investment in the Science Complex will allow us to build new facilities that will support innovation in emerging fields of science,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor at Waterloo. “The investment also allows us to expand capacity to support world-leading experiential learning with hands-on lab experience as well as fostering a new strain of science-based entrepreneurs though our Velocity Science program."

The 215,000 square foot complex will provide significant additional teaching space to meet growing demand for undergraduate and graduate students and critically adds space for new undergraduate programs in materials and nanoscience and bio-based chemistry.

“Today’s funding is an exciting opportunity for Science at Waterloo to expand support for researchers, students and entrepreneurs who will shape the future by pushing our understanding of the world around us,” said Bob Lemieux, dean of the Faculty of Science. “This new facility for scientific teaching and discovery will help ensure that Waterloo continues to fuel world-changing innovation that is underpinned by a fundamental understanding of the world around us.”

The new teaching spaces will feature more undergraduate laboratories offering students enhanced access to hands-on experiences in student research and innovation allowing Waterloo to expand access to high-demand co-op stream programs. Additional student laboratory space will foster the development of a new generation of science-based startups and entrepreneurs with an expansion of the Velocity Science program.

Velocity Science provides students interested in a life- or materials-science startup with the right tools and resources to initiate and develop world-class science companies. To date, more than 20 companies have emerged from Velocity Science including Suncayr, whose innovative nanotechnology marker signals users when it's time to reapply sunscreen, and Medella Health, a start-up that is developing the next generation of contact lens wearable technology to help patients better manage their diabetes.

“Our Government’s support for public infrastructure has never been stronger. We are pleased to work with our partners to approve projects under the New Building Canada Plan as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth, and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada,” said Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener—Waterloo. “We are proud to announce our intention to invest in the University of Waterloo Science Complex, which will focus on developing a highly-skilled workforce driving innovation in sectors that support increased economic diversification and competitiveness in Ontario.”

Federal funding for the building project comes from the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-National and Regional Projects. The Government of Canada selected this project for funding consideration of up to one third of eligible costs, to a maximum of $24,708,200.


The Faculty of Science at Waterloo is leader in research nationally and internationally. From a new map of the universe to better batteries to the threat of invasive species, Science researchers are committed to sharing exciting and relevant research findings with the Canadians and the world.

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About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada’s most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit


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Nick Manning
University of Waterloo

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