November 19, 2003

UBC receives multi-million dollar donation of software, hardware for computer-aided design

Vancouver, British Columbia – The Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) announced an in-kind contribution with a commercial value of approximately $240 million to the University of British Columbia (UBC). The in-kind contribution, which consists of computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering software, hardware, and training, is the largest in UBC’s history. It is also the largest initial contribution that PACE has made to a Canadian university.

PACE is a corporate alliance between General Motors, EDS, and Sun Microsystems that has worked together since 1999 to support key academic institutions worldwide with computer-based engineering tools to prepare mechanical designers, engineers, and analysts with the skills to compete in the future.

Michael Grimaldi, president of General Motors of Canada said, “As a result of PACE’s contribution, UBC Faculty of Applied Science undergraduate students will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art computer-aided engineering tools. PACE partners are playing a key role in fostering innovation in Canada by enabling students to work with world-class tools and preparing them for future success as a designing engineer. A highly skilled workforce will attract additional high tech jobs and investment, improving the overall economic outlook for Canada.”

UBC has installed a new computing lab to incorporate the contribution. The lab, which enables students to design, engineer, and validate products in a virtual world, opened earlier this year.

Dr. Martha Piper, president of UBC said, “We are proud to join the prestigious group of international institutions participating in the PACE program. The leading-edge learning tools will have a significant and lasting impact on engineering education, and help to position UBC as a source of highly qualified engineers. This in-kind contribution will expand our research capabilities and give our students hands-on training in the most advanced computer-aided design and engineering methods available today.”

To date, 26 academic institutions in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and China have been selected to participate in the PACE program. Twenty-four institutions, including UBC, have formally been announced. The value of contributions to date is close to $3 billion in total with almost $460 million donated to institutions in Canada (UBC, Dalhousie University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and Queen’s University). Canadian universities involved may also further leverage the PACE contribution through application to federal and provincial matching fund programs.

More information about PACE can be found at:

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