Applied Research and Innovation
The primary purpose of BC’s colleges applied research and innovation activities is to match the needs of businesses and community organizations with the outstanding student and faculty research talents at colleges.
BC’s colleges are integral to growing new technology and innovation centers in key areas of the economy. For over a decade, colleges have built capacity to support innovation at local small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by:
- Enriching student learning through experiential / applied learning;
- Exposing students to real world, hands-on problem solving, thus expanding their job applicable skills and education;
- Sharing faculty expertise and access to unique technology that supports local SMEs applied research and intellectual property development, leading to new, better performing commercial products and services;
- Partnering with businesses to grow employment opportunities for students while strengthening industry relationships and investments in colleges;
- Helping employers engage in, and support, applied research projects;
- Complementing the leading “discovery research” focus of universities.
Colleges are members of the BC Applied Research and Innovation Network (BCARIN) and access Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) applied research funding exclusively for colleges. Nationally, we collaborate with 110 NSERC-eligible colleges, while working closely with universities on competitive projects and applied research initiatives.
BCARIN is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary organization of British Columbia colleges and institutes. BCARIN’s purpose is to support member institutions’ applied research and innovation initiatives that contribute to creating exceptional learning experiences for students, workplace skills development, economic growth, and healthy communities.
BCARIN serves as a collective voice to raise awareness regionally, provincially, and at select federal events, of the capacity and vibrant applied research cultures within British Columbia colleges and fellow institutions. We also collaborate to foster best practices in applied research and innovation by facilitating the sharing resources between members.
College applied research significantly benefits students, contributes to economic productivity, and helps community organizations and business partners achieve their innovation potential and competitive advantage going forward.
Some examples of innovation at BC Colleges:
- North Island College: researching benefits of seaweed as cattle feed
- College of New Caledonia: increasing winter food yields in Northern B.C. through LED technology
- BC's Interior Colleges: supporting workforce innovation
- Camosun College's Technology Access Centre (CTAC): providing dedicated access to specialized technology equipment and expertise
- Selkirk College's Technology Access Centre (STAC): providing access to advanced technologies to drive business innovation
- Okanagan College's BC Beverage Technology Access Centre (BC BTAC): supporting the Canadian beverage industry through a range of expert analytical, commercial and sensory services and resources
- Langara College: mitigating environmental contamination with BIOCHAR