The University of Calgary was the only university in Canada to be honoured with a visit from Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the royal couple’s 2011 cross-Canada tour. After arriving in Calgary on July 7th the Duke and Duchess toured the Ward of the 21st Century (W21C) Research and Innovation Centre which features technology-focussed research projects that improve the quality of life and safety of care for patients. The work of the Centre directly relates to Prince William’s role as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.
The visit provided the university with a wonderful opportunity to highlight the University of Calgary and the work undertaken on W21C to the media and audiences worldwide. “There’s really no other place in the world with a living laboratory like ours,” said Dr. William Ghali, director of the Calgary Institute for Population and Public Health and co-director of the research program at W21C. “Our research is aimed at improving patient safety and quality of care, which are universal concerns. As such, the progress made here in Calgary could have lasting impacts to people all over the world.”
“I was thrilled to lead the Duke and Duchess through the tour of the W21C” said President Cannon. “Their Highnesses were keenly interested in the W21C demonstrations: the ASL Mobile Eye (an eye movement tracking system); iStan (a human patient simulator that breathes, bleeds and can tell a doctor where it hurts); WiTAT (wireless bandage that monitors a patient’s core temperature); XSENSOR ForeSite Patient Turn System (a bed that monitors pressure and tells healthcare providers when a patient needs to be moved); and Clean Keys (a keyboard that helps prevent the spread of infections).
The Duke and Duchess asked many questions of the researchers and graduate students who presented these leading edge technologies to them. iStan even thanked Their Royal Highnesses for visiting the University of Calgary and the W21C, and congratulated them on their wedding. “
Accompanying the President and Their Royal Highnesses were Alberta Premier Stelmach and Mrs Stelmach, Chancellor Jim Dinning and Board of Governors Chair Douglas Black. At the conclusion of their visit, the royal couple unveiled a plaque commemorating their visit which was placed in the W21C Research and Innovation Centre.