Kelowna, BC – A permanent BC Regional Innovation Reservoir Ecology Chair at the Okanagan University College is being established.
"The announcement of this chair demonstrates the government’s commitment to developing locally-based applied research that builds on our regional strengths," said Martha Salcudean, chair of the Leading Edge Endowment Fund. "We are building on the unique strengths of our regional post-secondary institutions and their special role in their communities."
"This interdisciplinary chair will provide leadership and facilitate information-sharing from private, public and non-government sources to monitor the effects of reservoir management on the environment," said Dr. Peter Ricketts, president of Okanagan University College. "The sustainability of B.C.’s rivers and reservoir systems is important not only environmentally but also as a source of clean hydroelectric energy."
Final proposals for the project have been invited, after which the Okanagan University College will be expected to confirm matching funds from the private sector. The chair will become part of UBC Okanagan as of July 1. It is expected that funding will be secured within the next year.
Six regional innovation chairs were previously approved in principle last June at the University College of the Cariboo, Malaspina University-College and Kwantlen University College.
The Leading Edge Endowment Fund was established in 2002, in fulfilment of the government’s New Era commitment to establish 20 permanent leadership chairs across BC. The province provided $45 million $2.25 million for each chair with matching funds to be secured by post-secondary institutions from external partners to establish some of the best-funded research chairs in Canada. Another $11.25 million was provided in 2003 and 2004 to create the nine regional innovation chairs.