Construction has already begun for UBC Okanagan’s new innovation hub.
“We have received the great news that we have received funding to establish a brand new hub that deals with upgrading materials towards sustainable energy solutions,” said Lukas Bichler, UBC Okanagan’s research and industrial partnerships associate director.
The Okanagan university received $1.9 million from the federal government for the new innovation hub, which will focus on using waste materials and converting them into usable products.
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The hub will focus on carbon-based materials to start, as they can be transformed into a number of different products.
An example of a carbon-based material is old tires.
UBCO said they’ve already partnered with Kal Tire.
“Who found a way to recycle tires and we have been using some of the recycled by-products for various applications, like new tires or battery applications and so on,” said Bichler.
The federal government said supporting Canadian universities and their efforts for research and development is crucial for communities across the country.
“What we want to do is make sure the great research that is being done at the universities can also be transformed into commercial possibilities and jobs,” said Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development.
“It’s really taking the power of the research that’s being done in the region and making it applicable in real life situations.”
The new innovation hub will also create 50 jobs, according to Joly.
Women and students will be prioritized for these jobs.
“That’s exactly why we wanted to support this project because it’s about creating good jobs but also in a sector that we know is extremely important which is clean tech,” said Joly.
UBC Okanagan says the new innovation hub should be finished by the end of the coming spring.