University of Victoria

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    UVic will soon be home to a national Canadian Indigenous law centre thanks to the support of $9.1M see more

    Source: VictoriaBuzz
    Author: Adam Chan

    UVic will soon be home to a national Canadian Indigenous law centre thanks to the support of a $9.1 million investment from the federal government.

    The new centre is being designed to be an accessible space for cultural engagement and discussion and will be the first institution to offer a joint degree program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID) in Canada.

    The facility will also be the first to feature an Indigenous Law Research Unit, and is intended to revitalize indigenous legal systems and the significant roles that they play in both Indigenous communities and the country as a whole.

    “Our government’s investment in the University of Victoria will create local jobs, and significant Indigenous input will go into the design and construction of the national centre for Indigenous law,” said federal Minister of Innovation, Science. and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, in a statement.

    “The building will use innovative technology to teach and connect at a national and international level regarding Indigenous law.”

    Besides the $9.1 million contribution to construct the centre, the Department of Justice Canada will also be investing $173,300 over three years to UVic’s Faculty of Law to help fund courses and field studies in Indigenous communities.

    “Canada is firmly committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action to ensure Indigenous peoples and knowledge are included and respected as we build a stronger Canada,” said federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett in a statement.

    “The national centre for Indigenous law will create a space for conducting the research and providing the teaching necessary to ensure Indigenous laws will guide the paths of self-determination and reconciliation.”

  • Article
    RRU is looking for a consultant to map out a plan for a new post-secondary school. see more

    Source: Times Colonist 
    Author: Carla Wilson

    On the Street: Royal Roads University charts expansion

    Royal Roads University is looking for a consultant to map out a plan for a new post-secondary school campus on the fast-growing West Shore.

    The comprehensive plan is to be ready by August. A request for proposals was issued this week and closes June 18.

    Last year, the province provided $250,000 for Royal Roads to lead a study, with partners UVic, Camosun College and the Sooke School District, into a new campus in the West Shore.

    A feasibility study into the concept led to $1.5 million from province for a full business case to be developed.

    Concerns driving the investigation into building a new campus include the lengthy commute for West Shore students to post-secondary schools, the lower than average number of West Shore students moving on to post-secondary school and the rising demand as the population expands in that region.

    The idea is to set up a new campus focused on under-graduate programs, with space for collaborative learning.

    The new plan will include designing a curriculum, determining how much space will be needed, site selection and design, infrastructure needs such as parking, estimating student numbers, financial analysis and timelines. The new university could be a collaboration between Royal Roads, UVic and Camosun, Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said in April.

    UVic’s Kidovate entrepreneurs in Bay Centre

    Participants in a new UVic entrepreneurship program for young people aged 12 to 18 will be showcasing and selling products on Saturday they have created.

    The Kidovate program was created by UVic’s Gustavson School of Business. Its first market will be from 10 3 p.m. at The Bay Centre’s centre court.

    A total of 26 young people will sell products, including crocheted and yarn creations, hand-made soap and bath bombs, felt friends, socks, poetry, water-colour paintings, pet food, greeting cards, silver jewelry, paper straws, plants and garden sticks.

    Participants received a graphic novel workbook and access to UVic student mentors. Kidovate offers a learning guide for educators that is tied to the new B.C. curriculum.

    Brock Smith, entrepreneurship area champion at UVic, said Kidovate is an opportunity for youth across the region to develop entrepreneurship and business skills. “These youth have worked hard to create valuable products and I hope customers will reward them for their efforts by coming to the Bay Centre and making purchases.”

  • Armon Arani posted an article
    UVic’s School of Business has launched a new youth entrepreneurship experience called Kidovate. see more

    Source: Peter B. Gustavson, School of Business

    Kidovate Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative Launched

    UVic’s Gustavson School of Business has launched a new youth entrepreneurship experience called Kidovate. Kidovate aims to develop entrepreneurial skill and spirit among middle school and high school youth by encouraging them to make and sell goods or services at a Kidovate marketplace Saturday May 25th. There is no cost to participate in Kidovate.


    Kidovate assists by providing a graphic novel workbook to help youth think through key business decisions, by providing access to UVic student mentors, and by providing access to customers, as Kidovate markets will be hosted by local malls. 


    For further details, and to register as a youth, educator, or parent, visit

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    UVic Course starts up this April see more

    So, you want to make a video game?

    UVic Course starts up this April

    Feeling creative? How about making a video game? Video games are a convergence of so many creative components: art, music, environmental design, character development, animation, narrative, and yes, even code. Making a video game can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Join our two experienced and passionate instructors who will guide you through the art and science of making your very first game.



    Software and Hardware Requirements 

    • Students must bring their own laptop (PC or Mac) and power cable.
    • Students should download the following software to their laptops prior to the first class:
      - Unity3D game engine with Visual Studio (available as a free download

    Instructors: David Ehret and Dylan Gedig
    Date: Saturdays, April 6 to May 11
    Time: 2 to 4:30 pm
    Fee: $225 plus $11.25 GST
    Code: TECC019 2019S C01

    Register today!


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Digital technology chief executive named UVic’s distinguished entrepreneur see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Sue Paish, chief executive of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, has been named this year’s University of Victoria Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

    Paish, who holds a bachelor of commerce and law degree from University of B.C., leads an organization which intends to establish the country as a global leader in digital technology by bringing together companies, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and non-profit groups.

    “Sue is a true inspiration, always working toward making the world better, whether it is through technological advancement, innovations in healthcare, or law,” said Peter Gustavson, chair of the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award committee.

    Paish becomes the third University of B.C. grad to step into the honour after 2007 recipient David Black, founder of Black Press, and 2013 recipient Brandt Louie, chair of H.Y. Louie Co.

    Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster is one of five business-led innovation superclusters, which facilitate and fund collaborative technology leadership projects that develop products and platforms. It is hoped projects approved and supported through the organization will foster economic growth across Canada by delivering jobs, increased GDP and advancing the country’s competitiveness.

    In addition to the supercluster, Paish led transformative change in her previous position as chief executive of LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, where she grew the company to be the nation’s leader in diagnostic services.

    Prior to that, in her role as chief executive of Pharmasave Drugs, she implemented new dispensary management technology that has become the Canadian standard. “Sue’s ability to lead companies and people through technological transformations with great success is a quality we’re excited to celebrate,” said Saul Klein, dean of the business school. “Our students and business leaders will learn from her exceptional leadership, teamwork and innovation skills.”

    Paish, who is an appointee to Queen’s Counsel in B.C. and named by the Women’s Executive Network to its Hall of Fame of Canada’s Top 100 Most Influential Women, will receive her award May 22 during the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Gala at the Victoria Conference Centre.

    Last year, the award was given to UVic philosophy graduate Stewart Butterfield, a high-tech whiz kid who taught himself computer code at an early age and went on to create communication companies worth billions.

    Paish joins a group that also includes Sir Terrance Matthews of Mitel Corp.; JR Shaw, founder of Shaw Communications; Clive Beddoe, founder of WestJet; and Alex Campbell, co-founder of Thrifty Foods.

    The Gustavson School celebrates entrepreneurial excellence with its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Each year, it recognizes an inspirational entrepreneur who has had a significant impact on the global community through business leadership.

    Previous winners

    2018: Stewart Butterfield, Slack

    2017: Don Mattrick, Microsoft

    2016: Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corp.

    2015: David Foster, music producer

    2014: Dennis Washington, industrialist

    2013: Brandt C. Louie, London Drugs

    2012: Dennis (Chip) Wilson, Lululemon

    2011: JR Shaw, Shaw Communications

    2010: Alex Campbell Sr., Thrifty Foods

    2009: Sir Terence Matthews, Mitel Corp.

    2008: Clive Beddoe,WestJet

    2007: David Black, Black Press

    2006: Gwyn Morgan, Encana

    2005: Dave Ritchie, Ritchie Bros.

    2004: Jeff Mallett, Yahoo!

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The program hopes to address a gap in the industry with a novel approach for students. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Spencer Harwood / The Canadian Press

    UVic program preps students for tech world

    A technology education program launching at the University of Victoria hopes to address a gap in the industry with a novel approach for students.

    HighTechU is a pilot program developed through the university’s computer science department in partnership with Victoria’s technology and education sectors. It aims to develop skills in enterprising Vancouver Island teens to make them more effective in the tech industry, beyond the primary coding and technical abilities needed.

    Andrew MacLean said he and program co-founder Ulrike Stege wanted to prepare students for the reality of the industry ahead of them, while making diversity a cornerstone of the program.

    “It really focuses on the soft skills that go along with that career, and really focuses on workplace competencies for these students,” MacLean said.

    “They get a sneak peek and to test drive a technology industry career before they even graduate from high school.”

    HighTechU has two separate programs — the Computer Science Skills Academy, a six-week program that teaches coding and practical skills, and a summer industry internship program to give those students an eight-week, paid experience with a technology company in Greater Victoria.

    MacLean said students enrolled in HighTechU are taught “soft skills” such as project management and personal communication to help them understand the breadth of roles in the tech sector.

    Stege said there appears to be a perception of what working in the tech sector is like, which she said is not necessarily in line with reality. “It’s never been right and might still not be right. A program like ours will hopefully help to correct that,” she said.

    MacLean said their mission is to impart to students how critical personal development is to a successful career in technology and that it’s as important as mastering the latest code language.

    “It’s about how to be someone who’s not just building something, but someone who’s developing something and truly bringing it from start to finish,” said MacLean.

    MacLean said HighTechU is a grassroots initiative that de-emphasizes students’ socio-economic backgrounds while it looks to narrow the diversity gap in the technology sector. They do this by focusing on groups that are underrepresented in the industry, such as women, Indigenous youth and people of colour.

    “We have six core competencies we were looking for in students,” he said.

    Those values of respect, resilience, teamwork, creativity, curiosity and innovation were specifically asked for by the industry partners who worked with MacLean and Stege through each step of their students’ application process, he noted.

    MacLean said when they pitched the project initially it started out being a coding-primary program, until conversations with several industry partners revealed a different need.

    They told MacLean they did not care as much about the technical skills as having balanced, flexible students. “They said ‘we’re looking for you to find those students that are self-motivated, passionate,”’ said MacLean, “their ‘big words’ were curious and passionate about technology, willing to learn and do the work and put in the time to be able to adapt to the changing situations [of the industry].”

    MacLean likened their approach to the old truism of the fisherman. “If you teach one programming language, that’s great for the year that language is really popular. But then when the new programming language comes out, those students need to be able to learn on their own.”

    MacLean said they worked with three school districts and several private schools in Greater Victoria to develop curriculum for the program. “A lot of the students that come through have done the computer science programs and are exceptional students before they come to us,” he said.

    One of those students from an earlier pilot program, Bridget Weston, finished high school at Victoria High in June and is already working as an intern at Victoria tech firm Sendwithus. Weston will attend UVic’s software engineering program when classes resume.

    MacLean said the demand from industry partners is so high that almost every teacher in the area would need additional training to continue educating in the field. “Schools think about it one way and we’re able to provide additional challenges that aren’t always possible in school,” said Stege.

    The program is delivered at no cost to students beyond nominal registration fees and MacLean said the next group of students will be welcomed to HighTechU’s Academy program in February.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The school has once again cracked the Financial Times Top 100 list of masters in management programs see more

    Source: Times Colonist

    UVic business program improves global ranking

    The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has again cracked the Financial Times Top 100 list of masters in management programs. Gustavson School’s Masters of Global Business program is offered through the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School and has moved this year to an overall ranking of 69 from 71 in 2017. It is now ranked 12th in international mobility and 21st in the international course experience category. It remains one of only three Canadian universities to be listed in the global ranking.

    University of B.C.’s Sauder School was ranked 49, an improvement from 58 last year, while Queens slipped to 53 from 46. “Being named to FT’s top masters in management list two years in a row, and moving up in the ranking, is a great achievement and a testament to the strength of our programs,” said Gustavson dean Saul Klein. “Developing a global mindset helps our graduates better understand the world’s complex business challenges, and provides them with the courage and confidence to succeed wherever they build their careers.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Simon is now headed off to Palo Alto for a co-op term at Tesla in September! see more

    Source: CTV News Vancouver Island

    UVic student lands internship with Tesla

    Simon Park, a Mechanical Engineering and Business School student at UVic (And one of the recent winners of the "PitchIT" competition run by the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre), was featured on CTV News on August 14th sharing the newest version of his technology Caboost (He was also featured back in March). 

    Caboost is a new way to give cyclists a boost when it comes to grueling climbs up hills. It's a small trailer-mounted electrically motorized wheel that attaches to the back of a bike, to give the rider an on-demand boost.

    Simon is now headed off to Palo Alto for a co-op term at Tesla in September! Watch the news feature below:

  • VIATEC posted an article
    Submissions for challenges are now open for Victoria's first ever Health Hackathon see more

    The Victoria Health Hackathon – Call for Challenges!


    The first ever health and regenerative medicine themed Hackathon will take place in Victoria September 28-30, 2018. Health Hackathons are focused events that bring together interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions to front-line healthcare problems. This event is being held with support from the Centre of Biomedical Research at the University of Victoria, the B.C. Regenerative Medicine Initiative, Starfish Medical, and Island Health.

    Call for Challenges: The Hackathon’s organizers are seeking a diverse array of health related challenges that can be addressed by groups of hackers in a one month time period as part of our Hackathon! These challenges can be addressed through a variety of engineering disciplines, including biomedical, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. See below for the event timeline. Preference will be given to projects with strong in-kind support through either mentorship or donation of supplies or resources. The challenges should be no longer than 750 words in length.

    Please email Stephanie Willerth ( with your potential challenges for consideration with subject line “Health Hackathon Challenge” and you will be notified by mid-August if yours has been selected for the competition. Those wishing to serve as judges or mentors are invited to provide their interest via email as well.

    Deadline for submissions: July 31st, 2018.

    Dates / Format:

    Summer: Hackers, mentors, and judges will be recruited to participate

    September 7: Kick-off, to be held at the University of Victoria, where the challenges will be presented to the hackers, enabling them to create teams. The teams will have until the hacking weekend to think about their approach to challenges. During this period, we will have a team of mentors who will answer questions about the challenges during that time.

    September 28-30: The Hackathon itself will take place at Fort Tectoria, with the solutions being judged on Sunday, and an awards ceremony to follow.

    November 2: A status update on the hacks has been tentatively scheduled during the University of Victoria’s Biomedical Engineering Day on November 2nd, 2018.

    Register: Registration for the Hackathon will open in July


    Still puzzled about what a Hackathon is?  Check out the following links to similar events for inspiration!

    Questions can be directed to Stephanie Willerth (

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A high-tech whiz kid who taught himself computer code at an early age and went on to create.... see more

    Source: Times Colonist

    UVic honours tech innovator Stewart Butterfield

    Victoria honoured one of its technology innovators on Friday at a soldout black-tie gala for Stewart Butterfield, a high-tech whiz kid who taught himself computer code at an early age and went on to create communication companies worth billions.

    Butterfield was honoured as this year’s University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

    He joins a prestigious group of previous technology winners, including Don Mattrick, former president of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment; Sir Terrance Matthews of Mitel Corp.; and Jeff Mallett, former president of Yahoo!

    Butterfield went to St. Michaels University School and graduated from UVic with a philosophy degree in 1996, earning a master’s degree from Cambridge University two years later.

    He is co-founder and chief executive of Slack, an enterprise communications platform with more than nine million weekly active users around the world.

    Slack is used by small and medium businesses, and about 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies.

    In addition to developing Slack, Butterfield co-founded Flickr. The image- and video-hosting website was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

    “Stewart’s entrepreneurship is an inspiration to our students and our city,” said Saul Klein, dean of the business school. “It is wonderful to be able to celebrate a homegrown talent at our 15th annual gala.”

    The Gustavson School celebrates entrepreneurial excellence with its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Each year, it recognizes an inspirational entrepreneur who has had a significant impact on the global community through business leadership.

    In 2005, Butterfield was named one of Businessweek’s Top 50 leaders in the entrepreneur category. The same year, he was named to the TR35, a list created by MIT of top innovators in the world under age 35. In 2006, he was named to the Time 100, Time magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world, and also appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

    In November 2008, Butterfield received the Legacy Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria.

    In 2015, he was named the Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovator.


    2017: Don Mattrick, Microsoft

    2016: Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corp.

    2015: David Foster, music producer

    2014: Dennis Washington, industrialist

    2013: Brandt C. Louie, London Drugs

    2012: Dennis (Chip) Wilson, Lululemon

    2011: JR Shaw, Shaw Communications

    2010: Alex Campbell Sr., Thrifty Foods

    2009: Sir Terence Matthews, Mitel Corp.

    2008: Clive Beddoe, WestJet

    2007: David Black, Black Press

    2006: Gwyn Morgan, Encana

    2005: Dave Ritchie, Ritchie Bros.

    2004: Jeff Mallett, Yahoo!

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Virtually every aspect of the city's tech scene is influenced in some way by UVic Engineering. see more

    Author: Mitch Wright

    Tech Sector's strength tied to UVic Engineering

    UVic's Faculty of Engineering has been a part of Victoria's flourishing tech community from the very beginning. With students in co-op positions, faculty working with startups, and alumni as CEOs, virtually every aspect of the city's tech scene is influenced in some way by UVic Engineering. 

    [Click here to read the full article]

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Give students the competitive edge they need to cut through the data jungle and make informed... see more

    UVic introduces new Business Intelligence and Data Analytics program

    [Click here for full details]

    The University of Victoria has just launched the Business Intelligence and Data Analytics program. The goal of the program is to give students the competitive edge they need to cut through the data jungle and make informed business decisions.

    Recent graduates or career professionals looking to add relevant and highly marketable skills to their resume or toolkit would be interested in this program:

    Program description

    This three-course Certificate of Completion program is designed to provide you with a combination of business intelligence knowledge, skills and ability that employers will value. Using the case study model, you will work in a multi-disciplinary team to enhance your knowledge and learn industry-accepted informatics tools and strategies for analyzing a variety of data sets.

    The Certificate of Completion in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics is the first program of its kind being offered by the University of Victoria. Delivered via a unique blended learning model, you will spend the first weekend of each course on campus in the classroom and then have the flexibility of four weeks of online studies. You will complete the entire program within six months.

    Program features

    • Residency requirement for each course — this face-to-face component will require students to attend the course on campus at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    • Instructors are seasoned industry professionals who bring a practical, high level of knowledge to the student’s learning experience
    • Committed staff who provide excellent service to instructors and students
    • Opportunities in this field are growing at a phenomenal pace with projections estimating 30,000 new jobs to be created across Canada between 2014 and 2024*

    [Click here for full details]

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The ACE program offered through UVic is receiving a $1-million donation from BMO. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    BMO donates $1M to Aboriginal entrepreneurs

    A successful Aboriginal entrepreneurs program offered through the University of Victoria is receiving a $1-million donation from BMO Financial Group.

    The Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) program has delivered entrepreneurial training to 26 First Nations communities in B.C. and has, so far, been focused in B.C.’s northwest and the Okanagan.

    For the first time, ACE training is being offered on Vancouver Island starting this month. It is aimed at Indigenous artists throughout the Island who are keen to start or grow their endeavours.

    Lianna Spence of Lax Kw’alaams, formerly known as Port Simpson, in B.C.’s northwest, is one of the 275 students who have completed the program. She attended the funding announcement at UVic Tuesday to talk about what the training meant to her. “I didn’t know anything about marketing, networking or writing a business plan but everything that I learned in this course has changed my life drastically.”

    A lawyer taught Spence about the importance of contracts, and she learned about the need to keep her life in balance.

    The ACE program not only helped in Spence’s career, but as an Indigenous leader in her community. “Every new professor who came in — my brain was like a sponge,” she said.

    Spence, who has a 14-year-old daughter, carves, makes jewelry and recently became a tattoo artist in Prince Rupert, with a three-week waiting list. She raised the first totem pole in her village in more than 100 years and hosted her first feast, keeping in mind lessons from her training.

    The 20-week ACE program was developed in 2013 in partnership with the Tribal Resources Investment Corp. and UVic’s Gustavson School of Business.

    Brent Mainprize, a UVic business professor, said as the program becomes stronger, students are becoming more successful. So far, 72 businesses have been started and more than 30 graduates have moved on to more education. Another 128 are completing business plans.

    Initiatives have involved artists, eco-tourism, taxis, trades businesses, coffee shops and music lessons.

    Miles Richardson, executive director for the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development at UVic, said the donation underlines the notion of bringing together Indigenous governments, federal and provincial governments and industry to support people like Spence.

    Richardson was at an ACE graduation in Prince Rupert attended by young people who needed skills and support. Program leaders worked with students, “helping them problem-solve, to get through the week, to get through the month, get through the program.”

    In some communities, 60 to 70 per cent of employment relates to art, Richardson said.

    “Learning business skills is going to be transformational. You don’t always have to bring it to a shop in Vancouver and have them double up the overhead. Maybe you can turn that money over in our communities, which is the beginning of having our own economy.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A group of UVic engineers is working with 3-D printers to help children in the developing world. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Richard Watts

    UVic engineers use 3-D printing to help children overseas

    A group of UVic engineers is working with 3-D printers to help children in the developing world.

    The bio-medical engineers use the printers to fashion corrective devices and braces to treat clubfoot and scoliosis, curvature of the spine. They will begin in Nepal.

    The group has been awarded a $100,000 seed grant, one of 20 across Canada. The federal government’s Grand Challenges Canada announced $2 million in grants on Monday.

    UVic team member Nick Dechev said the two orthotic conditions are no more common in developing countries than in Canada. But a visitor to the developing world is likely to notice adults and children with disabling deformities of their feet and bent spines.

    Most people with the two conditions don’t receive the inexpensive and simple corrective measures in childhood.

    “In Western countries, it is relatively rare to see an adult with a clubfoot,” said Dechev. “But if you go to the developing world, it’s not uncommon to see adults with their feet rotated outwards at 90 degrees.”

    With scoliosis, in countries such as Canada, children whose spines begin to curve are often treated with corrective braces. These are worn for a few years until bones stop growing.

    Dechev said his team believes that for less than $50 worth of plastic and printer time, effective treatment devices can be fashioned to assist a child overseas with either of the two deformities.

    That’s to make immobilizing foot platforms and braces worn by infants and toddlers to treat clubfoot, and plastic girdles worn by children, ages six to eight, for scoliosis.

    Dechev is part of the Victoria Hand Project, an already successful entry into assisting people in the developing world using 3-D printers. It has deployed scanners and 3-D printers to fashion customized prosthetic hands in Nepal, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti, Cambodia and Egypt.

    The Victoria Hand Project partners with existing clinics overseas where it sets up a 3-D printer and scanner. It trains locals to use the machines to fashion customized prosthetics. Including the cost of materials and local wages, the cost of a prosthetic hand is about $300.

    That same device in the developed world runs about $3,000, largely due to higher wages.

    Dechev said it’s expected the latest move to treat clubfoot and scoliosis will piggyback on the Victoria Hand Project. That group has already installed printers and scanners and trained technicians.

    “Eventually, it’s expected the Victoria Hand Project will inherit the orthotic technology and deploy it,” he said.

    The latest research grant will be used to test the effectiveness of the 3-D-printed, plastic orthotic braces.

    To do this, the research will initially see 12 scoliosis children fitted and treated, along with 24 clubfoot cases. They will be monitored by clinicians for two to three years.

    Dechev said part of the grant funding will be kept on hand so people can step in and fit standard braces if the plastic ones start to go wrong.

    “It’s not just thrown over the wall to people,” he said. “There is a process of two to three years of follow-up to make sure everything is going well.”

    Grand Challenges Canada was started in 2010 as an independent, non-profit agency funded by Global Affairs Canada. Its mandate is to assist with new ideas in areas of women’s and children’s health in low or middle-income counties.

    Since it began, 470 ideas have received funding. Of those, 60 per cent arose from the developing countries themselves and 40 per cent arose in Canada. All Canadian ventures must partner with local people to qualify.

    Liam Brown, spokesman for Grand Challenges Canada, said 20 per cent of ideas funded so far have entered a phase where they are ready to scale up to a point where they will have a significant impact by 2030.

    That’s a rate significantly higher than similar venture-capital initiatives.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Research hopes to get remote coastal communities off diesel-based power see more

    Author: Travis Paterson

    UVic draws $2.4M towards harvesting clean energy from the ocean

    Research hopes to get remote coastal communities off diesel-based power

    The influx of $2.4 million into clean energy is a stepping stone towards renewable energy alternatives for B.C.’s remote coastal communities and heavy-duty marine transportation companies.

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson made the announcement at the University of Victoria on Thursday. About $1.4 million from the federally run Western Economic Diversification Canada will establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery at UVic, which will strive to develop and commercialize wind, wave and tidal energy technologies.

    “Clean energy is a critical piece of the [Canadian clean growth plan], the mechanisms are obviously different here than in Saskatchewan, and the marine side of it is something we’re very interested in,” Wilkinson said. “It’s an area still developing, it offers significant promises on both the West Coast and the East Coast, where they’re interested in tidal technologies.

    “This type of technology offers the promise of being able to take [coastal communities] off diesel and put them on a renewable source.”

    The other $1 million is coming from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Seaspan Shipyards, and will go to a green transportation research team at UVic. Mechanical engineer Zuomin Dong leads the team and will work with UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems to find ways clean energy use can be implemented in the heavy-duty marine, mining and transportation sectors.

    Brad Buckham, mechanical engineer and lead with PRIMED, said the $1.4 million is the latest of many grants and will continue ongoing research that will eventually help remote coastal communities, including Indigenous communities, move away from using diesel fuel generators to produce electricity.

    Buckham said the more money they can put towards current research models now will save money for the communities, and companies, who eventually install the wind and ocean propulsion technologies to provide them with electricity.

    Among the projects PRIMED has worked with are the wave monitoring buoys and a turbine that monitors wind performance.

    There are several of the yellow wave monitoring buoys anchored in the Salish Sea and one off of Sombrio Beach. The wind turbine, on the other hand, is land based (mounted on a trailer) but will give way to ocean-based turbines, said Curran Crawford, a UVic associate professor and researcher with UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems.

    “Putting the turbines on the ocean gets them away from people and avoids the NIMBY [issue], plus there is a lot of wind offshore,” Crawford said.

    As the costs of wind-produced power have come down, the West Coast of Vancouver Island is being eyed for turbines that either float, or are on a base driven below the sea, Cawford said.

    “As we tackle the many challenges posed by climate change, our researchers are leading the way in sustainable energy research, working closely with governments, industry and community groups to foster clean growth and low-carbon economic development,” said UVic president Jamie Cassels. “We’re very grateful to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Seaspan for their investments in this vital work, which responds to one of our most significant national and global challenges.”