Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

November 09, 2011 16:00 ET

Government of Canada Announces Support for Innovation at UNBC

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2011) - Research in Prince George received a significant boost today, thanks to $852,000 in federal funding announced for the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

"Universities are engines of economic growth and job creation," said Member of Parliament Bob Zimmer, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "Supporting our academic institutions in innovation and applied research is vital to ensuring the prosperity of Prince George and Canada."

With Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) funding, UNBC will relocate its Central Equipment Laboratory and acquire 22 new pieces of research equipment, including a mass spectrometer, ion chromatograph, combustion nitrogen/carbon analyzer, and particle size analyzer, for physical and chemical analysis. Analytical equipment of this kind is lacking in the region yet in demand by local industry, particularly the bio-energy, forestry and mining sectors.

"It was industrial partners approaching us that kick-started this process," observed Gail Fondahl, UNBC's Vice President Research. "Local industries are sending samples away, sometimes overseas, for analysis. Even when they need to do so for final testing, having a nearby facility for preliminary tests can save time and expenses. The new and renewed equipment also provides our researchers and students with better facilities, while the increased partnerships with industry provide important training and collaboration opportunities between UNBC and industries."

For its size, UNBC is among the most research-intensive universities in Canada. Much of its research focuses on the economic, social, environmental and cultural issues of the North. This has led to the establishment of world-class leadership in such areas as Natural Resources and the Environment; Rural, Remote, and Northern Health; and the Sustainability of Communities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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Contact Information

  • Ben Letts
    A/Regional Communications Manager
    Western Economic Diversification Canada

    Alyson Gourley-Cramer
    Manager, Media Relations & Communications
    University of Northern British Columbia

    WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
    WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.