University of Calgary

Collaboration key to better health

UToday HomeJuly 13, 2012

Ed McCauley, University of Calgary vice-president (research) takes the podium.Ed McCauley, University of Calgary vice-president (research) takes the podium as Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions CEO Jacques Magnan, left, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education Stephen Khan, Minister of Health Fred Horne and Eli Lilly Canada senior vice-president corporate affairs Terry McCool listen. Photo by Riley BrandtGetting new drugs or other health care innovations into the hands of doctors and nurses further improves the health of Albertans. And a new research partnership will help develop innovative health care products right here in Alberta.

A collaboration announced Wednesday at the University of Calgary between Eli Lilly Canada Inc. and Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions – the Alberta/Lilly Translational Research Collaboration Fund – will provide $1.475 million to support health research at publicly funded Alberta post-secondary institutions.

“Medical treatments are some of the most difficult products to get to the marketplace, even life-saving drugs,” said Stephen Khan, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education. “Lilly recognized the strength in our Alberta Innovates system’s expertise and infrastructure and shares our goal to build a stronger support system for new therapies that will improve quality of life for Albertans and people around the world.”

“Collaboration is the key to leading-edge health research,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “These funds will help researchers turn collaborative ideas into solutions that will have a positive impact on the health of Albertans.”

The research collaboration aims to provide health care workers with more of the tools and medicines they need to support quality primary care and promotes a stronger innovation and entrepreneurial culture in Alberta.

"This new fund will be welcomed by all the publicly funded academic institutions in the province and is very welcome at the University of Calgary," said Ed McCauley, University of Calgary vice-president, research. “Commercialization and Knowledge Translation are two of our research platforms at the University of Calgary. We believe they will help us reach our Eyes High goal – to be a top five university by our 50th anniversary in 2016.”

The University of Calgary, along with the Province of Alberta, shares the goal of enhancing the ability of universities to contribute to knowledge creation, and the translation of that knowledge to society.

“Alliances are essential and the Alberta/Lilly Translational Research Collaboration Fund is an example of how partnerships may lead to great advances in medicine and life sciences,” said Terry McCool, vice-president of corporate affairs, Eli Lilly Canada.

Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions will manage the fund and conduct a peer-reviewed call for proposals.