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Kelowna  

A hub of innovation

Up-and-coming entrepreneurs showcased some creative ideas at the opening of the Innovation UBC Kelowna Hub, Thursday.

From wearable technology that monitors physical activity to an online rental platform, UBC students made the most of the facility that provides a space for the UBC community to interact with the region’s innovation network.

“For more than a century, UBC’s discoveries and spin-off companies have played key roles in advancing technology, natural resources and life sciences sectors,” said Gail Murphy, UBC's vice-president of research and innovation. “The Innovation UBC network will further support entrepreneurial learning and collaboration with industry and the broader community to generate local, national and global impact.”

The goal of the hubs, located in downtown Vancouver and Kelowna, is to combine research findings and entrepreneurial spirit to develop innovative new products, policies and practices that will improve lives around the world.

Phil Barker, vice-principal of research and innovation at UBC Okanagan, said with the help of mentors, program partners and sponsors, the Kelowna Hub will support research partnerships, commercialization, knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship activities.

“The enthusiasm and support of the community has been incredibly strong,” said Barker. “We can already see how the bold thinking of our entrepreneurs, researchers and partners is having a positive social and economic impact.”

UBC’s partnership with Accelerate Okanagan provides entrepreneurial training and support to researchers and students to create new ventures and bring their innovations to market.

"UBC has been a long-time supporter of the Okanagan tech community and a partner of Accelerate Okanagan since the beginning. This new hub at the Innovation Centre is another great example of our community-building collaboration in action. We know that success stories like Happipad and Trellis are just the beginning and we are excited to see our partnership continue to grow and strengthen the innovation ecosystem and tech sector here," said Raghwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.

“Our hope is that the hub will open up new pathways to innovation in the region and beyond,” adds Barker. “We are excited to contribute to the entrepreneurial landscape.”



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