Investment in Nova Scotia’s digital economy

The Province of Nova Scotia announced today, March 19, a $16.8 million investment that will allow four Nova Scotia universities to expand and enhance their computer science programs.

Digital skills drive the start-up economy and COVID-19 has accelerated digital adaptation and increased its importance. The digital future is here, and digital skills are essential to creating the jobs of today. Producing more digital talent in Nova Scotia will strengthen our start-up ecosystem across all areas from clean tech to agri-food and ocean sciences.

As Nova Scotia’s digital economy continues to grow, the need for more training opportunities in computer science is essential. To ensure we deepen our talent pool, Dalhousie University, Acadia University, Saint Mary’s University and St. Francis Xavier University will each receive funding to increase or enhance their respective computer science programming.

“As we work toward economic recovery, we need to focus on sectors that will energize our economy and set us up for long-term sustainability,” said Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “This investment will help foster new opportunities in the digital sector with an emphasis on equity and inclusion and ensure more Nova Scotians have access to the training they need.

“Nova Scotian universities and our quality of life have long been natural advantages to our start-up environment, but we can aim to be a world leading start-up capital where CEO’s invest, grow their firms and create more jobs.”

The funding breakdown is based on the total enrolment for each university’s computer science program. The funding amount for each university is:

  • Dalhousie University – $13.3 million
  • Acadia University – $1.47 million
  • Saint Mary’s University – $1.27 million
  • St. Francis Xavier University – $794,000

To ensure the funding aligns with the province’s economic vision for a future that includes everyone, an advisory group with representatives from the Departments of Labour and Advanced Education, Inclusive Economic Growth and Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services will work collaboratively with the universities and oversee their proposals on how the funds will be spent.

Quotes:

The importance of computing, data science and digital innovation to Nova Scotia’s future has never been clearer than it is right now. Dalhousie is grateful to the Province of Nova Scotia for this significant investment that will supercharge our capacity to train the next generation of digital leaders — providing them with the technical and business knowledge to both create and leverage new computing technologies, and to empower people and businesses in our province and beyond. Deep Saini, president and vice-chancellor, Dalhousie University “We are grateful for Premier Rankin’s commitment to improving access to digital education and training, particularly for those in disadvantaged communities, as an opportunity to lift others from inequity and help us all recover from the impacts of the pandemic. An investment in computer science programs across the province is a strategic way for Nova Scotia to move forward in a post-COVID-19 economy. At Acadia University, we are excited to enhance our work with partners in the Annapolis Valley. This region is a prime location for new industries and businesses.

  • Peter Ricketts, president and vice-chancellor, Acadia University

Universities and the provincial government are taking a strategic approach to investments in the post secondary sector. Investing in computing science and data analytics will have direct benefits for our youth and our province’s prosperity. Rob Summerby-Murray, president, Saint Mary’s University StFX University is delighted to receive funding from the provincial government to enhance our computer science programs. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in government to create more opportunities for study in computer science programs and promote opportunities for under-represented groups within the emerging digital economy of our province. Andy Hakin, president and vice-chancellor, St. Francis Xavier University

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia’s thriving tech sector was also highlighted in April 2019, when NSCC and the province announced a $7 million addition to NSCC’s Information Technology campus in Halifax, which will result in 100 additional seats for their information technology programs when complete
  • the $7 million in funding addressed the growing demand for NSCC’s information technology programs and includes a three-story, 21,000 square foot addition to their current campus.

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