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Province invests in research infrastructure, innovation at post-secondary institutions

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:54 PDT, Mon September 19, 2022

British Columbians are benefiting from post-secondary research projects that are helping create jobs, protect biodiversity and the environment, and keep people healthy and safe.

"As part of our StrongerBC Economic Plan and commitment to prepare people for the jobs of tomorrow, we are investing in research capabilities at B.C. post-secondary institutions to help solve some of our society's most pressing issues," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation. "These investments—ranging from environmental health to vibration and acoustics research—allow researchers to create new and innovative technology that will improve the lives of people throughout B.C."

Eight universities in British Columbia have received $30 million to support 120 post-secondary research projects through the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF). The universities receiving funding include Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, the University of Northern British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara College, Vancouver Island University, and the University of Victoria.

"We are fortunate to have world-class talent at many of our post-secondary institutions," said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. "By providing funding for new infrastructure through the BC Knowledge Development Fund, our researchers are able to acquire new state-of-the-art equipment that will help people and industry be future ready."

Projects supported through the funding range from genomic and metabolic solutions for B.C. agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University to studies on healthy brain development in pre-term infants at the University of British Columbia.

Through these types of investments, British Columbia can attract and retain world-class talent, develop new jobs and companies, and support the advancement of research and technology in a variety of sectors, such as health and life sciences, information and communication technologies, social sciences and humanities, clean technology, and natural resources.

The BCKDF is a strong contributor to the objectives of B.C.'s StrongerBC Economic Plan. It helps rebuild and grow the economy by improving B.C.'s productivity and competitiveness. Other benefits include potential commercialization, spinoffs, and patents, as well as discoveries that directly affect the lives of British Columbians in medicine and the management of the environment.

By investing in research infrastructure, the B.C. government is continuing to support post-secondary institutions to build a more innovative, sustainable, and inclusive future.

The BCKDF has awarded more than $850 million to more than 1,500 projects since the inception of the program in 1998. Since 2018, the BCKDF has awarded approximately $193 million to 359 projects.

BCKDF funding spans sectors, such as health and life sciences, nuclear physics, medicine, genomics, biotechnologies, clean tech, agrifoods, energy and mines, environment and climate change, and forestry. The BCKDF shares project funding with other funding partners, including the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

To learn more about the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/technology-innovation/bckdf

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