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Surrey will be a new hub for ag innovation


October 22, 2014
By Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Oct. 22, 2014, Surrey, B.C. — Through a new multi-level partnership, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will work alongside local organizations, post-secondary institutions and the City of Surrey to advance agricultural innovation.

The collaboration will support technology incubation, research projects and the development of an advanced health product and food processing business base in Surrey.

Partners involved in the project include Simon Fraser University (SFU), BCIT, University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), SMK Farms & Herbal Research Inc. and the B.C. Agriculture Centre of Excellence, in addition to the City of Surrey.

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(From top left) Surrey councillor Linda Hepner; Steve Dooley, executive director of SFU Surrey; Dr. Mark Giltrow, program head of Sustainable Business Leadership at BCIT; K J Kim, president and CEO of SMK Group; Dr. Elizabeth Worobec, dean of KPU’s Faculty of Science and Horticulture; Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, and; John English, dean of Trades and Technology at UFV.

Raising awareness of opportunities across the region and fostering industry-academic partnerships are both key parts of the plan – goals that will build on KPU’s agricultural and sustainability work.

“Being involved with this strategic partnership will bring together the skills and resources of a number of our best post-secondary academic institutions, and focus on applied research in the vital area of feeding our increasingly urban population,” said Gary Jones, instructor with KPU’s School of Horticulture.

“With 53 per cent of the world’s population now living in cities, and land becoming less available, addressing this issue in a sustainable way is critical.”

AGRI-INNOVATION SIGNATURE PROJECTS

One such collaboration includes the Agri-Innovation Signature Projects, which will see the city working with KPU and other post-secondary institutions to develop ways of funding projects and ideas that will strengthen Surrey’s agriculture sector.

In particular, the signature projects will focus on engaging young people working in agriculture, and will seek new solutions to food security and sustainability issues.


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