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Frank McKenna donates $5M to create UNB institute focused on digital technology

New Brunswick Premier-elect Frank McKenna sits on the desk of the Leader of the Opposition at the Fredericton Legislature October 14, 1987. (CP PHOTO/Bill Grimshaw)

The University of New Brunswick has announced a new institute intended to create jobs and prosperity in the field of digital technology and transformation.

Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna has donated $5 million and plans to raise another $50 million for the institute that will carry his name.

UNB President Paul Mazerolle says the McKenna Institute will act as a catalyst to develop new ideas and train the workforce to meet future needs in the technology sector.

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He says the aim is also to expand the use of digital technology to other areas such as agriculture and health care.

McKenna says the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly had millions of people working from home, and it became clear more people need digital tools for the future.

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He says New Brunswick can take a leadership role, noting there are already nearly 5,000 New Brunswickers working in cybersecurity and that success can be repeated in other areas.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2021.

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