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University of British Columbia – Okanagan to Implement Survive and Thrive Applied Research Facility

October 14, 2014 – Kelowna, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification announced funding of $3,801,000 for the University of British Columbia – Okanagan (UBCO) to support the establishment of the Survive and Thrive Applied Research Facility (STAR).

The STAR facility will focus on human protection and survivability, as well as performance, in extreme or remote conditions. STAR will also expand UBCO’s capacity to work with industry to support technology development and commercialization of advanced technologies in the defence and security sector.

At the facility, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have access to a suite of sophisticated equipment to aid in engineering, destructive testing, and rapid prototyping. STAR will focus on improvements in areas such as personal protective equipment, vehicle armour, secure communications as well as unmanned aerial vehicle technology and its related commercial applications.

Additionally, STAR will expand its capacity and technology to apply research and development in direct collaboration with businesses and communities that are concerned with human protection and survivability, as well as commercial applications in other sectors including manufacturing, natural resources, and healthcare.

Quick Facts

  • The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus opened in Kelowna in 2005 and has over 8,300 students.
  • Technologies that apply to this specific opportunity also contribute to a host of applications across different sectors, resulting in significant economic benefit. For example, advanced new materials developed for military body armour can be applied to reduce concussions and other traumas in the development of athletic sportswear.


“This investment will promote innovative new technologies that will protect our men and women who serve in our armed forces and in other frontline roles. In addition, this facility will serve as a centre of excellence, further strengthening the Okanagan’s role as a key economic driver in Western Canada.”

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“STAR will catalyze economic and industrial innovation for the BC Interior with global applications. This is a fantastic example of what universities can do when we come together with industry. STAR creates real-world learning opportunities for our students – putting the brightest minds of the future to work on the needs of industry and society today.”

- Professor Arvind Gupta, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC

Additional Link


Emily Goucher
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-8097

Bud Mortenson
Director, University Relations
Telephone: 250-807-9255
Cell: 250-864-3385

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