OC pops the top on Technology Access Centre to benefit B.C.’s beverage industries

By Public Affairs | June 18, 2019
           

Okanagan College Media Release

British Columbia’s wine, beer, cider, and spirits industries have a new source of support, courtesy of an initiative by Okanagan College and funding from the federal government.

Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, announced federal funding for 12 technology access centres on Thursday at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. Okanagan College’s proposed BC Beverage Technology Access Centre (BCBTAC) is among them. With $1.75 million in federal funding over five years, it will be headquartered at the College’s Penticton campus and will be providing testing and business services and applied research assistance to the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries in the region and throughout the province.

“This is very exciting for the industries and for Okanagan College,” notes OC President Jim Hamilton. “We have developed a significant track record of training and support for the wine industry over the past quarter century and have been focused on how we could leverage college expertise and personnel to assist all these growing industries. The industry support for the proposal we developed has been phenomenal and the input that organizations, businesses and individuals provided was invaluable.”

“From the perspective of a co-owner of a small winery, I know the BCBTAC will be a valuable asset in the development of the industries it is setting out to serve,” says Daniel Bibby, co-owner of Nighthawk Vineyards. “Whether it is consumer research or analytical services, having this asset in the region will be one of the ways that we advance the agendas of quality and reputation.”

“There were a host of people who rallied around the idea of this technology access centre – both at Okanagan College and externally – and brought it to life,” notes Dr. Andrew Hay, the College’s Vice President Education. “From our faculty researchers, to our Deans and Directors, along with many leaders in these industries – there were so many people who worked diligently to make this real I can’t begin to name them all.”

One person Hay gave special credit to was Sandra Oldfield, former co-owner of Tinhorn Creek Winery and organizer of the Fortify conference in 2018 who was brought in as a consultant to help Okanagan College put the pieces together and to ensure links with the appropriate people in the industries.

“Now there’s even more work to be done,” notes Hamilton. “We have already started renovations and been advertising for key personnel. Our goal is to have the BCBTAC begin operations early this fall.”

Okanagan College research shows that within its catchment area, there are 19 craft cideries, 219 wineries, 16 craft distilleries, and 24 craft breweries. The numbers are growing weekly. The BCBTAC will be providing analytical and sensory services, along with a full suite of business services to assist this vibrant and growing sector of the economy.

TACs are centres established by colleges to address the applied research and innovation needs of local companies. The federal TAC Grants are awarded for five years and are renewable. Okanagan College will receive $350,000 annually for each of those five years. The BCBTAC will be British Columbia’s second TAC. The other is at Camosun College.

TACs provide capabilities that serve applied research and innovation needs of regional firms. TAC capabilities may include advice on specific company challenges, specialized technical assistance, applied research and/or development projects for companies, and/or specialized training.

The BCBTAC was chosen for federal funding after a thorough process (overseen by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - NSERC) which drew applications from across the country. Initial proposals last summer were winnowed down to proponents who were asked to develop full business plans for review by NSERC. A two-day onsite visit at Okanagan College involving five NSERC-appointed experts followed in February at OC.

 



Tags: BCBTAC

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

Sean McFetridge
Meet Sean McFetridge, OC alumnus

November 1, 2021

After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011. Where is your hometown and where are you located now?Kelo...

Read more...
Kelly Terbasket
kinSHIFT: a powerful—and local—way to learn about Truth and Reconciliation

September 27, 2021

Kelly Terbasket of IndigenEYEZ has created a new sister organization for allies—kinSHIFT. Launched this spring, kinSHIFT is a tailored set of workshops for non-Indigenous allies who want to take the next step. Designed in response to increasing requests from people who want to be genuine allies, kinSHIFT is a safer space to do the work.                                                                          ------------ As a person of mixed heritage, I've always felt the divide between cultures and wanted to be part of bridging awareness a...

Read more...
English Professor Hannah Calder reads while sitting in her home office by a window
Why We Write: Poets of Vernon

September 10, 2021

The writing community of Vernon is taking centre stage in a new film produced by OC English Professor and self-proclaimed budding filmmaker Hannah Calder. For the last four years, Calder has been collaborating with Curtis and Silmara Emde on Why We Write: Poets of Vernon, a film project originally sparked in 2017. Curtis, an OUC alumnus, has stayed in touch with his first-year English professor, Tom Wayman, since completing his studies. When Wayman released his collection of music-...

Read more...
Ty Sideroff story
Ty Sideroff

September 3, 2021

“I have always been interested in our anatomy and exercising so I enrolled in OC’s Kinesiology Diploma program. My first year was going really well, then COVID-19 hit. I was able to finish the first year in an online format. However, starting school in September completely online, I was struggling to stay engaged with my studies. Before COVID, many of our classes would be active and in the gym. I found it hard to stay present with everything online and not having the same convers...

Read more...