The B.C. government is investing nearly $25 million to support 34 post-secondary research projects that will drive innovation and economic growth.
The projects will also help create jobs, protect biodiversity and the environment, and help keep British Columbians healthy and safe.
The funding is awarded through the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) and gives students and researchers access to the latest technology, tools and equipment they need to drive research projects forward.
During the past four fiscal years, the BCKDF has awarded more than $154 million to 255 projects.
“We are focused on building a sustainable, inclusive and innovative economy. By investing in research and innovation with our world-class talent and universities leading the way, we will be one step closer to achieving this goal,” said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“B.C.’s post-secondary schools are making significant advancements through leading-edge research that improves the lives of people and contributes directly to our economic prosperity throughout B.C. The Province is proud to support these incredible initiatives and the people behind them.”
The five recipients are Simon Fraser University (SFU), Thompson Rivers University (TRU), the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Vancouver campus, the UBC – Okanagan campus and the University of Victoria (UVic). Projects include:
- the advancement of “precision oncology” to help identify therapy most likely to benefit a cancer patient;
- establishing an artificial intelligence engineering laboratory to advance research for clinical applications for dementia and vision sciences;
- determining how natural systems will respond to climate change and improve responses to environmental contamination;
- finding sustainable solutions to protect infrastructure, such as buildings and bridges, against seismic damage; and
- supporting communities in water management through nature-based water reuse.
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.
Past recipients of the BCKDF include former UBC professor Carl Hansen, co-founder of AbCellera, which discovered an antibody for treatment against COVID-19, and UBC professor Pieter Cullis, who developed the lipid nanoparticle technology that allows the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine to enter human cells.