Volume 91, Issue 33

Tuesday, October 28, 1997



New research institute opens

James Pugsley/Gazette
Industry Minister John Manley opens the research park by the virtual press of a button.

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos

Gazette Staff

Over 200 people bore witness to a virtual reality ribbon-cutting ceremony by an industrial laser Friday which officially brought in the new Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute at Research Park Corporation.

A collaborative effort by the university, the National Research Council, various levels of government and the City of London brought the project into existence, which can only serve as an example of addressing changes in the 21st century, said Federal Minister of Industry John Manley.

He noted the contribution of the university was key to the success of the project, adding the benefits to London far outweigh the costs. The federal, provincial and municipal governments each contributed over $2 million, while Western alone contributed $2 million, plus $500,000 in land.

President Paul Davenport became part of the virtual reality experience by addressing the crowd via a previously taped speech. He was unable to attend the opening due to previous convocation commitments.

"This choice was no accident. We all put forth a tremendous effort and IMTI exists as a testament to the strong partnerships formed by those committed to maintaining these relationships."

Arthur Carty, president of the National Research Council, said there are two ingredients for making a good research institute: a program that focuses on research excellence and having a network of partners to achieve ambitious research goals. "I feel like I am standing on the shoulders of giants."

Dianne Cunningham, Provincial Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Women's Issues said London is a forward-looking municipality which recognizes the importance of the efforts of all in making this happen. "We can only be competitive in this country if we use the word integrated."

Mayor Dianne Haskett was also not in attendance at the ceremony, but Acting Mayor Grant Hopcroft said he was proud to be there to thank all those people who helped make the project happen.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997