The province has committed $25 million to invest in several post-secondary research projects.
Simon Fraser University (SFU), Thompson Rivers University (TRU), the University of British Columbia’s (UBC), UBC Okanagan (UBCO), and the University of Victoria (UVic) will receive the funding for 34 post-secondary research projects.
In a statement, the province said they would invest in projects including:
- 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
- Supporting communities in water management through nature-based water reuse.
The funding is provided through the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), which has invested more than $154 million to 255 in the past four years.
One recipient of the BCKDF funding included 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.
While the funding is not only beneficial to the advancement and innovation of technology, health, and sustainability, to name a few, the province said it also benefits their economic plan.
Potential commercialization, spinoffs and patents, and discoveries that directly impact the lives of British Columbians in medicine and the management of the environment, are just a few of the ways of which it could benefit the province, economically.
“When we make investments in research, we invest in shared success in British Columbia, Canada and the world. Canada’s research communities need critical funding to build capacity, to bring new discoveries to light and to deliver essential training for tomorrow’s science teams,” said Vice-president research and innovation, Lisa Kalynchuk.
“Today, Canadian researchers are demonstrating in real time just how committed UVic is to meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and making a difference in Canada and around the world.”