About the McKenna Institute | UNB

A catalyst and connector

The McKenna Institute is an agile, passionate and entrepreneurial centre of excellence based at UNB. It is driving a broad, multifaceted agenda for digital transformation in New Brunswick.

“This is the chance to do something truly breathtaking.” - Frank McKenna

Transformation in action

The McKenna Institute embodies Frank’s dynamism, optimism and ambition, nurturing activities that will improve the quality of life for all New Brunswickers, from better health care and education to more jobs and increased digital literacy.

The McKenna Institute is rooted in New Brunswick with a strong outward gaze, partnering with local communities and organizations while seeking digital best practices globally.

Working with stakeholders in government, industry, non-profits and academia, we enrich our province today and position it for a bright future with new levels of prosperity, progress and pride.

Our projects and priorities

The power and potential of digital

Digital technology holds great potential for New Brunswick, allowing us to overcome traditional limitations such as our size and location. With digital, the world is truly ours, and instantly.

Economies that embrace innovation have increased GDP, exports, employment and population growth. Our digital economy and our overall economy are intricately linked. Innovation leads to higher growth rates while driving gains in productivity and resilience in all sectors. And its growth potential is exponential, with little capacity constraint, so our companies can scale to compete anywhere, faster.

Add to this a legacy of super-sized tech successes, and New Brunswick has an incredible opportunity to embrace digital transformation for a bright future.

A wellspring of ideas and talent

At UNB, we see digital transformation as the best way to fulfil our core mission of building a better world for our province and its people. The McKenna Institute aligns with our vision and expands our extensive activities in support of this aim.

UNB has played a central role in New Brunswick’s long history of using technology to create opportunities, enhance competitiveness and drive social change. Home to the first standalone faculty of computer science in Canada, we have nurtured talent and ideas in the digital space for decades.

As Canada’s most entrepreneurial university, we are a platform for startups and applied research, turning knowledge into opportunities. Some of the most successful technology in New Brunswick’s history was developed by digital companies started at and nurtured by UNB.

A crucial collaborator 

UNB’s faculty of computer science is a vital partner in the McKenna Institute’s mission to harness technology’s positive, transformational potential for New Brunswick. The faculty is a critical source of knowledge and talent and a crucial locus for applied research and the commercialization of big ideas. The faculty has embraced its role in advancing digital applications for economic growth and social development, welcoming engagement with the McKenna Institute and its stakeholders. 

The future is digital

Technology is already transforming every faculty and field at UNB, from the humanities to forestry, engineering and beyond. From the classroom to the field, we embrace digital across the board. It is transforming every aspect of campus life and activity, from how we deliver education to our research tools.

And we are ready.

Toward 2030: UNB’s Strategic Plan