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UVic research projects land $535,000 in grants

Research projects at the University of Victoria aimed at slowing the deterioration of the body due to age, improving solar-energy technology, and water monitoring and management are all in line to get a large injection of funding from the province.
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Three projects at UVic are receiving $535,000 from the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund to invest in research infrastructure. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Research projects at the University of Victoria aimed at slowing the deterioration of the body due to age, improving solar-energy technology, and water monitoring and management are all in line to get a large injection of funding from the province.

The B.C. Knowledge Development Fund is spreading about $25 million in research funding around the province, with three projects at UVic receiving $535,000 to invest in research infrastructure.

“When we make investments in research, we invest in shared success in British Columbia, Canada and the world,” said Lisa Kalynchuk, vice-president research and innovation at UVic.

“Canada’s research communities need critical funding to build capacity, to bring new discoveries to light and to deliver essential training for tomorrow’s science teams.”

Researcher Makhsud Saidaminov has been awarded $210,000 to further his work on developing solar-energy technology that is cheaper and safer to produce, while being more efficient at harvesting energy.

The Canada research chair in advanced functional materials is researching the use of novel materials in chemistry and engineering techniques to discover new materials for solar-energy technologies without using toxic heavy metals.

Nicole Templeman is researching how to delay and slow the progression of age-related deterioration. The Canada research chair in cell biology, will receive $175,000 to continue work investigating signalling pathways and molecular mechanisms that are involved in co-ordinating metabolism, reproduction and longevity.

Kristian Dubrawski, the Canada research chair in water sustainability for Indigenous and rural communities, will get a $150,000 grant to continue research into using nature-based solutions for water reuse, quality monitoring and community water management.

This round of provincial grants will partially fund 34 post-secondary research projects.

“The [fund] plays a crucial role in the modernization of our universities’ research infrastructure capacity and capabilities,” said Anne Kang, minister of advanced education.

“By investing in technologically advanced equipment and buildings, B.C. institutions will be well-positioned to develop successful collaborations with industry and other partners.”

Over the past four years, the fund has awarded more than $154 million to 255 projects. Since its inception in 1998, the fund has doled out more than $800 million to more than 1,400 projects.

“B.C.’s post-secondary schools are making significant advancements through leading-edge research that improves the lives of people and contributes directly to our economic prosperity throughout B.C.,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and ­innovation.