The Government of British Columbia has given the Ministry of Advanced Education provincial responsibility for research and innovation, recognizing the strong connection between higher education and research, and people and ideas. Research and innovation will play a major role in shaping British Columbia’s future social and economic development, and in enhancing the province’s domestic and international competitiveness.

Within the ministry, the research, technology and innovation division works in collaboration with the province’s research universities, provincial life sciences and technology industry partners, other ministries, other provinces and the federal government to further British Columbia’s presence in a global knowledge-based economy.

The division provides leadership for provincial research and innovation policy and strategic planning, and has recently released the B.C. Research and Innovation Strategy[PDF 3.44 mb]. The strategy sets out a strategic and coordinated approach to research and innovation in the province. It builds on B.C.’s existing strengths and reputation for research excellence, and focuses on priority research areas including:

  • life sciences
  • technology
  • clean technology
  • natural resources.

The division also administers the ministry’s major research funding program, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and provides funding support to the British Columbia Innovation Council, a Crown agency created to support science and technology innovation throughout the province.

The British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund provides funding for research infrastructure at post-secondary institutions. This fund provides 40 per cent toward the cost of a research project and is typically matched with federal funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC): BCIC has been established as a one-stop point of access and support to high tech companies, educational institutions, technology industry awareness groups (including regional technology councils), federal science and technology agencies and university research labs.