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Interior universities TRU, UBCO, UNBC extend research coalition another 5 years

$8M already secured for research on disaster prevention, rural aging and more
Thompson Rivers University campus

Thompson Rivers University is one of three universities that have renewed a cross-institutional research agreement, which they say will mean greater research capacity and more joint-research projects.

In a news release, TRU said itself, the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus have renewed a memorandum of understanding to extend the Interior Universities Research Coalition — a partnership between the universities — for another five years.

“The IURC has set the groundwork to advance important research in our regions—the collaboration between our institutions is critical in building capacity for new research opportunities in our communities,” said Dr. Shannon Wagner, TRU's vice-president of research

“The renewal marks the beginning of what we envision as a blueprint towards inter-institutional partnerships across Canada.”

According to TRU, the coalition has attracted nearly $8 million for cross-institutional research projects and collaborations at the three universities and has created numerous research opportunities in the BC interior.

Funded research projects include areas such as disaster prevention, aging in rural communities, COVID-19, education and wildfire stewardship, TRU said.

“We support this initiative and share the IURC’s commitment to making post-secondary education more accessible, responsive, and relevant for people across British Columbia,” said minister Lisa Beare of the ministry of post-secondary education and future skills.

“The IURC is a leading example of institutions finding collaborative solutions to enhance educational opportunities and solve regional challenges so we can build stronger and more resilient communities in B.C.”

TRU said the extended partnership will support community-based research, develop greater research capacity and joint education opportunities over the next five years.

“The partnership has developed a foundation that fosters talent in the BC Interior and enhances student and faculty mobility while at the same time increasing academic opportunities and strengthening community connections,” TRU said.