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University of New Brunswick Establishes Spatial Computing Education, Training and Research Laboratory

Published: January 18, 2023

News release

January 18, 2023· Fredericton, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Aerospace is one of the most research-intensive and export-focused manufacturing industries, employing thousands of highly qualified people in every region across the country.  By strategically investing in the aerospace sector, the federal government is supporting an innovative industry and a key driver of our nation’s economy.

New lab will help small and medium-sized businesses in the aerospace industry

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA announced an investment of $823,125 toward the Spatial Computing Education, Training & Research Laboratory (SPECTRAL) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). The announcement took place at Fredericton-based Kognitiv Spark, a global leader in spatial computing technology. Kognitiv Spark is investing $150,000 in the project, as well as a  $410,000 in-kind contribution.

SPECTRAL will support SMEs and other aerospace industry clients by providing access to world-class research and development and supporting a digitized aerospace supply chain, as well as new educational and training programs in the spatial computing field. The project will create a pipeline of highly qualified personnel with training in industry-relevant spatial computing and help local companies maximize opportunities in the global aerospace supply chain.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to help businesses grow, reach new markets, drive innovation and contribute to Atlantic Canada’s economic success.


“We are committed to driving economic growth in Atlantic Canada.  The University of New Brunswick’s Spatial Computing Education, Training & Research Laboratory will help maximize opportunities in the spatial computing industry and meet growing demand in the global aerospace sector, benefitting our economy for years to come.”

–       The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Spatial computing is an exciting area full of rich, emerging potential for the aerospace ecosystem and beyond. We are grateful for ACOA’s support of our vision of collaboratively advancing research and innovation in this domain and training tomorrow’s experts through student learning opportunities.”

–       Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, President and Vice-Chancellor of UNB

“Today’s announcement is truly exciting and will have a positive impact across not just the Atlantic region, but Canada and the wider aerospace industry. This is the next step in a collaboration that highlights some of the amazing opportunities for technical and academic leadership in Spatial Computing that exist here in New Brunswick.”

–       Duncan McSporran, COO and VP of Defence and Public Sector, Kognitiv Spark

Quick facts

  • The University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) SPECTRAL builds on years of expertise and partnership in human-computer interaction, as well as a desire to grow the aerospace ecosystem.
  • Since 2016, Kognitiv Spark Inc. has worked closely with global partners to guide mixed reality solution development, with an emphasis on user-centered development.
  • ACOA’s contribution is through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.