Collaboration is and always has been fundamental to progress and innovation. Over the past 24 years, I have had the privilege of developing long-term partnerships with various stakeholders in the Alberta construction industry. Through these partnerships, I have learned a great deal about how industry, academia, and government are fundamental to the fabric of our industry, and how together we can use research to solve big industry challenges.

The construction industry is a vital part of both Canada’s and Alberta’s economies and society, and yet it has faced considerable challenges in the recent past. As we look to the future, we must acknowledge that the nature of the construction industry is changing, and individual organizations — as well as Albertan and Canadian industries as a whole — must keep up with the rapidly evolving needs of an ever-changing society. The economic climate has changed significantly, as has our way of doing business, particularly following the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with challenges come opportunities, and the Construction Innovation Centre (CIC) is the platform that we can use to come together to make the most of these opportunities, and the best of these challenging times.

It is only by coming together and pooling the knowledge of individuals from various disciplines and backgrounds that industry, government, and academia can solve the problems facing the construction industry and address its most pressing needs. The CIC provides us with a means to ensure that future generations of construction practitioners have the best opportunities to learn and build experience in preparation for their turn at the helm of the construction industry. As a forum for collaboration between academia and industry in the construction sector, the CIC brings together expertise from various construction research groups under one umbrella. Members of and contributors to the CIC will have the opportunity to tackle large, complex interdisciplinary projects that will stimulate and accelerate the evolution of the Albertan and Canadian construction industries. Research results and training on developed technologies will be provided to industry, and students will learn valuable skills that they can apply as either academic researchers or industry professionals.

I am excited to continue to work with our longstanding and new industry and government partners on developing novel ways to overcome the challenges facing the construction industry as it seeks to keep pace with the every-changing world in which we live. The Albertan and Canadian construction industries, and our partners in particular, have shown time and time again that they are committed to and driven toward progress, change, and innovation in their practices, and I am glad to share that commitment with them, now and in the future.

Aminah Robinson Fayek, Ph.D., P.Eng., F.CSCE, NAC
CIC Director