The Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Okanagan College, and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have established a new partnership to create jobs, create intellectual property, and help grow the cleantech ecosystem in B.C. and Canada.
Foresight will continue to provide its services to industry partners. Through a memorandum of understanding with Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan, industry partners will also have access to testing, research, and development services.
“The sustainable education and research initiatives in this region are vital to the transformative clean economy that is emerging in British Columbia,” said Jeanette Jackson, chief executive officer of Foresight. “Foresight is delighted to work in collaboration with Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan to foster the growth of cleantech ecosystems, attract interest and investment in local startups, and maintain British Columbia’s strong leadership position in the cleantech industry.”
The three-way collaboration also seeks to open doors for students and professors to engage with the cleantech industry through hands-on learning and research in the industry, to help ensure students can more easily tap into industry mentorship in the field.
“From an education perspective, there is great benefit to students and faculty members at both post-secondary institutions working closely with a local industry partners like Foresight, researching, innovating, and implementing cleantech solutions right here in the Okanagan,” said Andrew Hay, vice president education at Okanagan College. “Our students are getting exposed to real-world challenges and opportunities directly applicable to where they live, work and learn, which they can then choose to apply here or anywhere in the world.”
Rehan Sadiq, executive associate dean of UBC’s Okanagan School of Engineering, noted that Foresight Cleantech is a natural fit with the ongoing collaboration between Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.
“We see this as an important extension of services and supports available to our students, researchers, and cleantech partners,” said Sadiq. “It will enhance initiatives such as our research clusters of excellence in green construction and biocomposites, the Fortis Smart Energy Chair, the Life Cycle Management Lab, new programming in resilient infrastructure management, and a range of other cleantech, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green construction projects.”
“By furthering collaboration with our peers, we’re pooling shared knowledge and experience, which industry can then leverage to build up the cleantech ecosystem in the province,” said Hay. “It’s great for students, it’s great for our two educational institutions, and it’s beneficial for industry. It’s a win-win-win.”