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Expanded initiative to support and grow clean technology industry in BC and beyond
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan have established a new collaboration to create jobs and intellectual property, and grow the cleantech ecosystem in B.C. and Canada.
Foresight is a not-for-profit Canadian company established in 2013 to help entrepreneurs form and accelerate cleantech companies in BC. Cleantech encompasses a diverse range of products, services and processes using renewable materials and energy sources, significantly reducing dependence on natural resources and substantially reduces emissions and waste.
A memorandum of understanding signed this week will see Foresight’s acceleration services provided to industry partners, along with testing, research and development services at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.
“The sustainable education and research initiatives in this region are vital to the transformative clean economy that is emerging in British Columbia,” says Jeanette Jackson, CEO 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,” says 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 Assoc. Dean of UBC’s Okanagan School of Engineering, notes 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,” says 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,” says 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.”