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Revolutionary new development will expand regional opportunities

UBC’s Innovation Precinct increases space for researchers to tackle real-world challenges
A look into the future of UBC Okanagan, including the Innovation Precinct.

A 21st century campus needs state-of-the-art facilities and a cutting-edge approach to solving real-world problems. The UBC Innovation Precinct is a revolutionary new development designed to inspire creativity, test new ideas, and cultivate research partnerships for researchers, students and staff, alongside key community partners.

“We want to create a zone that allows us to help partners solve thorny problems,” explains Phil Barker, vice-principal and associate vice-president, research and innovation at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “This will expand the ability of our research teams to take on significant real-world challenges, while creating training opportunities and new knowledge.”

The UBC Innovation Precinct is intentionally designed to not only support partnership development but also to utilize the university as a living lab to help grow and expand regional opportunities. For a modern university whose core vision is about “inspiring people, ideas and actions for a better world,” it seems apt that UBC Okanagan’s new precinct has societal benefits embedded into its strategy.

One of the new spaces is located at 1540 Innovation Drive, the first building in the Innovation Precinct portfolio. Graduate students and faculty from the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies will be co-located alongside industrial partners working on research and development projects. It’s anticipated that collisions emerging from this co-location will produce new thinking and innovative approaches.

“The creation of UBC Okanagan was driven by the local community with the intention of creating a campus where students could be trained and acquire expert skill sets that have the potential to contribute to the prosperity of the region,” says Barker. “With the innovation precinct, we want to create a zone that allows us to train students and do cutting edge research, while helping partners solve thorny problems.”