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Monday, December 22, 2014
Saskatchewan

NORRIS LAUNCHES NEW INDUSTRY-LED INTERNATIONAL MINERALS INNOVATION INSTITUTE

Minister responsible for Innovation Rob Norris today announced the creation of a new industry-led International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII), and an initial $500,000 investment by Innovation Saskatchewan. The funds will be used to provide start-up resources for the institute.

"The province is pleased to play a catalytic role in bringing the mining industry together with the educational and research community to address needs for skilled workers and scientific solutions to support their unprecedented growth projections," Norris said. "The institute became a reality because of the visionary work of a steering committee who identified the need for a mechanism that would co-ordinate and facilitate support for Saskatchewan's minerals sector. And following a feasibility study, the development of a business plan, and extensive consultation with stakeholders, the IMII was created."

IMII will be jointly funded by industry and government and is envisaged as a mechanism that enables industry to provide direction, funding, and to make decisions around education and training programs and research and development projects conducted in support of the mining and minerals sector.

The inaugural Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Gordon Barnhart, former Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor, as the Interim Chair. Dr. Barnhart will provide leadership to the board that is composed of membership from industry, government and educational institutions.

"I am excited about the opportunity to assist the mining industry in Saskatchewan establish itself as a global leader," Barnhart said.

Barnhart will work with the Founding Members of the Board - Engin Ozberk, Cameco Vice President Technology and Innovation, Dr. Karen Chad, University of Saskatchewan Vice President Research and Dr. Jerome Konecsni, CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan - to expand the board of directors, recruit an Executive Director and launch the institute's programming. David Grier, of Innovation Saskatchewan, has been appointed as Acting Executive Director to manage the institute's start-up.

Saskatoon Northwest MLA Gordon Wyant and Acting Executive Director David Grier have engaged industry leaders regarding industry involvement and support. About $4 million over five years has already been committed and several other companies have shown serious interest in providing funding.

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For more information, contact:

Rita Flaman Jarrett
Innovation Saskatchewan
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-933-5716
Email: rita.flamanjarrett@innovationsask.ca

David Grier
Innovation Saskatchewan
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-933-7941
Email: innovationsask.ca

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