Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, a research and development organization that receives the bulk of its funding from the provincial government, laid off 28 staff members Tuesday.

Scott Lundy, spokesperson for the organization, said staff were escorted out of the building.

“It was a difficult day for everybody involved. These are people whose livelihood is affected and we recognize that and it was very difficult for everyone,” he said.

About five hundred people work at Alberta Innovates, which receives funding from the Alberta government but operates at arm’s length. Last year the organization received $83 million in operating grants from the provincial government and $77 million from external contracts, including those with industry.

Lundy said the dwindling price of oil was a factor in the layoffs.

"If the oil and gas sector is in decline, then yes that affects the work we do with those sectors." 

“If work with industry on a fee for service basis is starting to decline and then that has a direct and immediate impact on our revenue,” he said. 

The jobs affected include applied research and administrative positions. 

Lundy said Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures is currently restructuring and that no further layoffs are expected.