B.C. Interior's first genomics lab opens with provincial support | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Interior's first genomics lab opens with provincial support

December 11, 2017 - 11:49 AM

KAMLOOPS - Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston attended the official opening of TRUgen today and met with molecular biologists who will apply their discoveries to benefit small- and medium-sized businesses in B.C.'s Interior.

In collaboration with local industry, the B.C. government is helping create jobs and compete globally through its support for TRUgen, the Interior's first genomics laboratory at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

"The B.C. government's investment in TRUgen supports leading genetic research that will enhance agricultural and environmental remediation, and help the healthy food and beverage industries innovate and stay competitive," said Ralston. "Today's grand opening supports regional tech- and resource-based industries, job creation, and a diverse and innovative economy that works for everyone."

Through the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), the provincial government contributed $291,000 in capital funding to purchase equipment for the lab, where work will focus on:

* Using specific types of bacteria for environmental remediation, work on biosolids (sewage sludge) and improving municipal wastewater treatment processes using beneficial bacteria.

* Enhancing natural food, food supplements and beverage products.

"B.C.'s post-secondary institutions are conducting groundbreaking research that benefits people, the environment and industry here and around the world," said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. "With state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, as provided by the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund, we are helping to create the conditions that make new discoveries possible."

This project is part of the B.C. government's commitment to support research and innovation in every sector in every region of the province. Matching funds were provided by the federal government through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"Investments in Canada's research infrastructure are incredibly important to the nation's future," said federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan. "They give Canadian researchers the tools they need to make new discoveries that will better the lives of Canadians today and for years to come."

"This funding by both the provincial and federal governments puts TRU at the forefront of reclamation science and technology," said TRU president and vice-chancellor Alan Shaver. "Not only do these tools provide a unique learning environment for our students, the results of the research undertaken at TRUgen will have national and international impact."

The B.C. Knowledge Development Fund provides capital funding for public post-secondary institutions, research hospitals and affiliated non-profit agencies. Investments are aimed at attracting and retaining world-class research and innovation talent in B.C. Projects funded by the BCKDF have the potential to grow B.C.'s economy by spurring technology commercialization, talent development and job creation.

Quick Facts:

* Established in 1998, the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) is the Province's primary capital investment in support of research infrastructure in B.C.

* The BCKDF provides up to 40% of total eligible costs for projects, which is matched by the federal government and supported by other funding partners.

* Since its inception, more than 1,200 projects have received BCKDF capital funding awards for a total government investment of over $660 million in research and innovation in B.C.

* BCKDF capital investments have generated almost $1.2 billion in additional research funding from other sources.

* The Province has plans to announce an innovation commissioner in 2018 to advocate on behalf of B.C.'s innovation and technology sector. The government will also establish an innovation commission to support innovation and business development throughout the province.

Learn More:

B.C. Knowledge Development Fund: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/technology-innovation/bckdf

Thompson Rivers University: http://www.tru.ca/

Canada Foundation for Innovation: https://www.innovation.ca/

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