The British Columbia government is awarding three research universities with over $5.2 million to support a variety of innovative research projects in B.C. with the potential to save lives, solve crime, reduce green house gas emissions and improve wildlife management.
The investment, through the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), is being allocated to the University of British Columbia (UBC), University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) campus and Simon Fraser University (SFU).
The BCKDF will contribute $3.1 million for 18 research projects at UBC, including $639,322 for a quantitative imaging for diagnosis and therapy project. The objective of the project is to increase the functionality of medical ultrasound machines and to make them broadly usable by medical personnel in their offices, rather than solely in large hospitals. Methods will be developed to more easily and accurately visualize disease, such as prostate cancer and liver disease. The research will be carried out in collaboration with B.C. companies and hospitals, and is aimed at creating more cost-effective health care.
An investment of $1.9 million from the BCKDF will help fund five diverse projects at SFU, including $400,000 toward research into next-generation isotope fingerprinting. The project will use new, cutting-edge isotope fingerprinting methods to address two key areas of research: forensic applications to aid the RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service, as well as analysis of animal remains to reconstruct geographically distinct climate changes. This research will position B.C. as a world leader in isotopic detection methods, and will potentially support identification in those cases where all existing investigative avenues have been exhausted.
The BCKDF will contribute $163,000 to UBCO to support research methods for tracking large mammals and new approaches to forestry and road development that will enhance management of wildlife populations. The research will support jobs in forestry, tourism, and hunting-outfitting; facilitate collaborative partnerships between industry and First Nations; improve food security in rural communities; and enhance safety on B.C.'s roads.
BCKDF investments are aimed at attracting and retaining world-class research and innovation talent in British Columbia. Successful proposals have the potential to spur technology commercialization, talent development and job creation. With state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, British Columbia institutions can generate favourable conditions for innovation and are well positioned to create successful collaborations with industry.
Since January 2016, $35.3 million has been awarded through the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund, for a total investment of more than $610 million in research and innovation since 2001.
BCKDF funding is part of the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million B.C. Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through graduate seats, co-ops and coding, as well as data innovation and market access for tech companies to drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
To see the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund-supported projects: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/MTICS_Innovation_funding_BACKGROUNDER.pdf
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –
“Supporting research is a strategic initiative of our #BCTECH Strategy and the diversity of active B.C. research is a hallmark of a healthy technology sector. Talented researchers are applying their innovative minds to find solutions within every sector, from clean tech to the life sciences to more traditional industries.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education –
“The research culture at our post-secondary institutions in B.C. is flourishing and contributes immensely to our innovation economy. The discoveries of today not only lead to an array of practical applications, but also inspire the bright minds of tomorrow to embrace learning and research.”
Helen M. Burt, vice-president research pro tem, UBC –
“The ongoing support of the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund plays a vital role in enabling outstanding research at UBC that generates meaningful societal and economic impacts for our provincial, national and global communities.”
Philip Barker, associate vice-president research, UBC, and vice-principal research, UBC Okanagan –
“Applied knowledge – the kind that improves systems, lowers costs and makes life better – begins with fundamental research. The BCKDF program has been a vital catalyst for research on both our campuses and throughout the province.”
Joy Johnson, vice-president, research and international, SFU –
“Research is fundamental to connecting post-secondary education and the technology sector. The businesses, jobs and economic impact that come from commercializing big ideas are born out of the sustained and incremental work of scientists.”
- Since 2001, more than 1,100 projects have received BCKDF funding awards for a total government investment of over $610 million in research and innovation in B.C.
- This has generated an additional $1.1 billion in research funding from other sources.
- That’s more than $1.7 billion in funding for research and innovation in B.C.
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
University of British Columbia: http://www.ubc.ca/
University of British Columbia Okanagan: http://ok.ubc.ca
Simon Fraser University: http://www.sfu.ca/
Canada Foundation for Innovation: https://www.innovation.ca/
Joanne WhittierCommunications Manager
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services