KAMLOOPS – UCC has been given the opportunity to develop two Regional
Innovation Research Chairs, with a potential value of $ 5 million,through
the provincial Leading Edge Endowment Fund.
The fund has established six Regional Chairs with up to $2.5 million in funding for each chair. UCC has been awarded two of the chairs, and is a partner in a third awarded to Malaspina University College in Naniamo.The other three chairs were awarded to Malaspina, Kwantlen UniversityCollege and Selkirk College. The projects include:
ABORIGINAL PRENATAL HEALTH Recent evidence suggests interior First Nations communities experience infant mortality rates and fetal alcohol syndrome rates significantly higher than the provincial average. The regional innovation chair in aboriginal prenatal health would develop innovative methods of identification, education and prevention.
CATTLE INDUSTRY SUSTAINABILITY This chair would work in partnership with the B.C. Cattlemen’sAssociation, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, the Grasslands Conservation Council,and UBC to conduct applied research in support of the beef cattle industry.The chair will conduct and co-ordinate research into the key challengesfacing B.C.’s cattle industry, including land use planning for industry sustainability, and product and market development.
TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT (partners with Malaspina) The tourism industry in B.C. already employs 7.2 per cent of the B.C. labour force, largely concentrated in urban areas. The chair in tourismand sustainable rural development will take a leadership role in creating a rural tourism research community in B.C., organizing research that will increase employment opportunities in rural tourism.
All three projects are directly related to the regional economy of the interior, and both of the Chairs to be established at UCC will expand on the research work already underway in the two new Centres of Early Intervention/Childhood Development and Landscape Ecology, according to Associate Vice-President of Research, Dr. Tom Dickinson.
“We put in our letters of intent for these chairs, and we are verypleased that we have now been given the opportunity to develop a full proposal,and raise up to $ 2.5 million in matching funds over the next 12 months”said Dickenson.
The chairs are funded in part by the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF), established by the BC government, which matches funds raised by the university for each project awarded, up to a maximum total of $ 2.5million funding for each chair.