TechTalk Blog
VITP profiled in US Magazine – Site Selection Online
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veryone wants LEED. But which jurisdictions attract the cream of the crop?      

Since the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program was formally implemented a decade ago by the U.S. Green Building Council, more than 14,000 projects have received some level of LEED certification. A mere 1,271 projects – from residential to stadiums, bank branches to public libraries, headquarters to even a few industrial plants – had received the organization's Silver, Gold or Platinum certification as of the end of October 2008.

Thirteen percent of those top-shelf projects are in California alone, which boasts 74 Gold projects and 21 Platinum projects, both category leaders as well. The honor roll includes Nestlé Waters North America's Arrowhead bottling plant in Cabazon, Lockheed Martin Space Systems' fleet maintenance facility in Sunnyvale and corporate campuses from such companies as Sempra Energy and Rand Corp. (below).

Top LEED cities are led by Portland, Ore., where no doubt many ride bicycles to some of its 48 projects, which include facilities from REI and Toyota Motor Sales. Second-place-tie Chicago touts private-sector facilities from Exelon, PepsiCo and Humana, while Washington, D.C., boasts a predominantly public-sector crop of LEED facilities. Other top cities such as Vancouver, B.C.; second-place-tie Seattle; L.A. and Atlanta are notable for their blend of public-sector and higher education, plus internal office projects from top AEC firms such as Stantec, Arup, Skanska, Turner Construction and Perkins + Will – all LEED leaders in their own right.
     
Internationally, while other organizations promulgate their own rating systems, there is also enthusiasm for LEED Certified Buildings. British Columbia leads all comers with 30 projects, including a Gold rating for Vancouver Island Technology Park in Victoria. Beyond North America, India is the LEED leader with 21 projects. That tally features 11 facilities in the Gold Category and five in the Platinum category, including Wipro's development center in Gurgaon. China is next with 14 projects. Nine of those are LEED-Gold projects, including the Nokia campus in Beijing.

http://www.siteselection.com/features/2009/jan/Green-Imperative/

 

 

VITP selected to join Microsoft BizSpark Program

The Vancouver Island Technology Park today announced that it has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner. The BizSpark Program is a new global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage Startups by connecting them to Network Partners: active members of the global software ecosystem who can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to BizSpark Startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft, Startups and Network Partners.

“The Vancouver Island Technology Park continues to search for innovative ways in which we can assist our young companies,” says Av Hundle, Manager, Business Development and Marketing. “We are deligted to be selected by Microsoft BizSpark to provide such an offering to our hi-tech community in Victoria. It is our responsibility as a technology park to continue to assist and foster the ideas of tomorrow.”

Microsoft is committed to helping entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses and to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism. To this end, the BizSpark Program provides Startups with software, support and visibility at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable—during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

“We understand the difficulties startups face in trying to create a viable, scalable and sustainable business, especially in today’s economy,” says Martin Schray of Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft BizSpark provides startups with a unique opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of the breadth of the Microsoft platform, our global partner ecosystem and new ways to gain market exposure.”

BizSpark gives Startups fast and easy access to Microsoft’s current full-featured development tools, platform technologies as well as production licenses to bring to market innovative and interoperable solutions for the next generation of user experiences.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, Startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years, and have less than USD$1M in revenue. Startups may enroll for the program by obtaining sponsorship from a designated BizSpark Network partner.

VITP Selected by Microsoft BizSpark

The Vancouver Island Technology Park today announced that it has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner. The BizSpark Program is a new global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage Startups by connecting them to Network Partners: active members of the global software ecosystem who can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to BizSpark Startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft, Startups and Network Partners.

“The Vancouver Island Technology Park continues to search for innovative ways in which we can assist our young companies,” says Av Hundle, Manager, Business Development and Marketing. “We are deligted to be selected by Microsoft BizSpark to provide such an offering to our hi-tech community in Victoria. It is our responsibility as a technology park to continue to assist and foster the ideas of tomorrow.”

Microsoft is committed to helping entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses and to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism. To this end, the BizSpark Program provides Startups with software, support and visibility at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable—during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

“We understand the difficulties startups face in trying to create a viable, scalable and sustainable business, especially in today’s economy,” says Martin Schray of Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft BizSpark provides startups with a unique opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of the breadth of the Microsoft platform, our global partner ecosystem and new ways to gain market exposure.”

BizSpark gives Startups fast and easy access to Microsoft’s current full-featured development tools, platform technologies as well as production licenses to bring to market innovative and interoperable solutions for the next generation of user experiences.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, Startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years, and have less than USD$1M in revenue. Startups may enroll for the program by obtaining sponsorship from a designated BizSpark Network partner.

Avocet 3D & MK2 Business Solutions Come Together

In the true spirit of facilitating business partnerships, the Vancouver Island Technology Park has made possible the close collaboration between two of its incubator tenants Avocet 3D Images and MK2 Business Solutions.

On January 1st, 2009 these two companies moved into new offices together to better enhance the services they currently offer. Both companies have been producing digital media for the North American business community for some time now and as Avocet 3D Images owner Dennett Woodland says “Our disciplines complement each other very well for the larger market and we think having a full roster of services under one roof provides better choices for the customer”.

Mk2 Business Solutions owner Matthew Chitty says “This partnership and resource sharing opportunity would not have happened if we had not been at VITP in the incubator. Up until we were introduced in the incubator we had never even heard of each other companies. In the last year we have worked together on projects and have been able to assist each other by sharing valuable information and lessons we have learned doing business. After much discussion we realized that the natural progression would be to pool our talents and move into a larger office space.”

VITP was more than happy to accommodate and with their assistance the two companies were able to relocate into a more accommodating space within the incubator to help facilitate the partnership and growth of these two startup companies.  "When great stories like this transpire, it really hits home in why we are in this game of technology parks," says Dale Gann, Acting President of VITP.  "By offering affordable office space in close proximity to other innovative companies, ideas can quickly become reality.  We are very proud of what Avocet 3D and MK2 Solutions have done and wish them continued success in the new year."

Jasco lends a hand to Veterinarians without Borders

VWB/VSF-Canada is excited to announce the launch their first-ever holiday gift giving campaign – One World Gifts!  To support its various international projects, the organization is now offering a series of four gift cards that can be emailed and/or printed.  Designed by Camosun College graphic design student, Emily Stevens, these unique gift cards will go directly towards helping improve the health and wellbeing of people and animals living in the world’s least advantaged communities.  One World Gifts make the perfect presents for people who have everything! Visit www.vwb-vsf.ca for details.

 

One of the VWB/VSF-Canada projects highlighted in this year’s One World Gifts campaign is a program to help subsistence farmers in Western Kenya raise healthier pigs.  While pig rearing is a relatively new industry in the Busia and Kakemega Districts, these animals have quickly become a vital source of food and income.  Yet inadequate farming practices have resulted in both livestock losses and the spread of a parasite that cycles between pigs and people.  For families living in extreme poverty and who are already nutritionally compromised, the loss of a single pig can be devastating and exposure to disease-causing parasites can be life threatening.

 

For the past year, VWB/VSF-Canada has supported an animal health team, led by Canadian veterinarian, Dr. Cate Dewey, to travel to Kenya to deliver a series of training workshops on pig management.  Working with local veterinary and public health officers, Dr. Dewey and her team have travelled throughout the region to meet first-hand with farmers to discuss ways to improve pig productivity and prevent human health problems. 

 

“The workshops have been incredibly successful,” said VWB/VSF-Canada president, Dr. David Waltner-Toews. “We’d like to expand these workshops to include other stakeholders as well, like the pig butchers. We’re also planning to develop workshops that will specifically address pig disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.” Waltner-Toews is encouraging people to purchase the “Healthy Pigs. Healthy Kenyan Families” gift card to help support this important project.  

 

Back in Canada, and in the spirit of community involvement, Jasco Development (www.jascodev.com) in Victoria, B.C. donated their time and expertise to help get the technical side of this holiday campaign up and running.  They developed the e-commerce capabilities for the organization’s website.  “The Jasco team has been absolutely wonderful,” said Dr. Erin Fraser, Program Director, VWB/VSF-Canada. “Without their help we would have been hard pressed to get this campaign launched in time for the holiday season.  They are so professional and have treated us with the same kind of respect and enthusiasm and as they would their paying clients.” 

 

Also donating her skills to this important cause is Camosun College graphic design student Emily Stevens. Only half way through her first-year in graphic design, Stevens created four gift cards, each representing one of the profiled VWB/VSF-Canada projects.  Her work was selected from all of the designs submitted by first-year Camosun students to represent this year’s campaign.

$9Million for Solutions in Natural Resources, Applied Sciences and Engineering

Post-secondary institutions will receive up to $9 million in the next three years for projects providing social, economic and environmental solutions for B.C. Projects will be supported in the areas of natural resources, the applied sciences, and engineering.

Funding is provided from the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment and are delivered by BCIC in cooperation with the BCFRST Foundation through two new programs:

  • The NRAS Research Team Program supports accomplished B.C. researchers with projects that will provide substantial benefits to the province. This program encourages researchers from multiple disciplines to work together and engage students and other personnel through a high-calibre training and supervision program. Funding is provided for direct research-related costs for up to three years.
  • The NRAS Private Sector Collaborative Program will increase partnerships between post-secondary institutions and the private sector. The program supports knowledge transfer and an industry-based training program for students and other personnel. Funding is provided for up to 50 percent of total project costs for up to three years.

Increased San Francisco Flight Frequency

United Express will offer increased frequency on the Victoria (YYJ) to San Francisco (SFO) flight effective March 29, 2009.  Service will now be offered twice daily, with a change in aircraft configuration.

 

The new aircraft will be a 50 seat regional jet, which will replace the 66 seat regional jet that operates currently.  The new jet will have 100% economy seating and will offer a more attractive schedule for those passengers wishing to connect from SFO to another destination.

 

United Express – Victoria to San Francisco Schedule:

 

< /tr>

Departs YYJ

0735

Arrives in SFO

0948

Departs YYJ

1445

Arrives in SFO

1658

Departs SFO

1130

Arrives in YYJ

1349

Departs SFO

1855

Arrives in YYJ

2108

 

“The new schedule will offer travellers greater choice when connecting to other destinations beyond San Francisco.  Inbound tourism traffic will also benefit from these new flight times as guests will have greater flexibility when booking their flights.” comments James Bogusz, Manager Marketing, Communications & Technology.

VITP Welcomes Alberta Research Council to Victoria

Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) is pleased to welcome Alberta Research Council (ARC) as its newest tenant. ARC has opened its first British Columbia-based office at VITP to access Victoria’s intellectual resources and expertise in water management, and to stimulate new opportunities for technology development and transfer across western Canada.

“I would like to congratulate the Vancouver Island Technology Park and the Alberta Research Council for their efforts in establishing ARC’s first BC-based research centre,” said Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong.  “This announcement demonstrates the positive effects that can materialize within British Columbia’s technology industry when collaboration is encouraged amongst our provinces across Canada.”

ARC has a water management research and development team in Calgary, which has been focusing on ground and surface water monitoring, characterization and advanced management planning. Now, ARC will build on regional expertise and introduce a new capacity for emerging technologies, says ARC senior hydrologist and University of Victoria research professor Dr. John Gibson.

“We are using technologies such as isotope tracers, which will help manage and balance water supply needs for industry while maintaining a safe, secure and sustainable supply of water for people and the ecosystem,” says Dr. Gibson, who leads the water management research and development at the new ARC isotope laboratory.

ARC senior management will be welcoming its newest lab into the ARC family during a retreat to the facility, December 10 – 12. 

“We are delighted that the Alberta Research Council has chosen VITP as the location for their first British Columbia-based office,” said Dale Gann, Acting President, Vancouver Island Technology Park.  “We look forward to enhancing ARC’s relationships with our provincial government and our research-intensive university.”

The VITP location also provides ARC with access to a large number of B.C. government and university collaborators, and creates a more visible platform to seek industrial partnerships in B.C, the Pacific Northwest, and the Pacific Rim. “Having a high-tech water research team in Victoria will enable ARC to build regional, national and global partnerships,” says ARC vice-president of Life Sciences Shawn Gervais.

The lab provides new opportunities for graduate students seeking advanced training in isotope-based water sciences.

 

The ARC facility is currently investigating water eco-system issues such as the impact of the Fort McMurray oil sands on sustainability of lakes, rivers, and groundwater supplies in the region. Dr. Gibson says this research is an example of a successful program that has fostered long-term partnerships with both government and industry. “We hope to build new partnerships in B.C. and find sustainable solutions for western Canada,” he says.


About Vancouver Island Technology Park

The Vancouver Island Technology Park, a University of Victoria Enterprise, facilitates the growth of technology on Vancouver Island by providing physical infrastructure linking local, provincial, national and international resources with emerging or growing tech companies.  VITP is a highly acclaimed centre of hi-tech excellence for world class science and innovation.  Today, the existing 165,000 square feet facility is a proven model which is fully-leased to 29 hi-tech companies. VITP is home to 1,300 highly-skilled and educated workers who contribute in excess of $280M annually to the economy of British Columbia.

About Alberta Research Council Inc.

The Alberta Research Council Inc. delivers innovative science and technology solutions that meet the priorities of industry and government in Alberta and beyond.
Established in 1921, ARC is wholly-owned by the Government of Alberta and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. ARC operates in five facilities throughout Alberta, serving the energy; life sciences, including agriculture, environment, forestry, and health and wellness; and manufacturing sectors. Visit us at www.arc.ab.ca.

Green Government Facility Named Canada's Solar Project of the Year

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA (December 08, 2008) Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) today received the CanSIA “Solar PV Project of the Year Award”
for a grid-tied solar power system installed on the Jean Canfield Building in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In accepting the award at the Canadian Solar Industries Association
(CanSIA) conference in Toronto earlier today, Carmanah CEO Ted Lattimore expressed his thanks on behalf of the entire project team, and commented on the global shift towards using
renewable energy technology to create healthier and more efficient environments in which to live and work.

At the Jean Canfield Building’s grand opening celebration this spring, the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada had declared the 500-person facility “one of
the most environmentally friendly buildings ever constructed by the Government of Canada.” Complementing the building’s impressive list of environmental technologies and design efficiencies,
the Carmanah grid-tied solar power system uses a 636-square meter rooftop array to generate up to 111,000 watts of electrical power from the sun’s energy. A web-based interface displays
key system information — including the amount of energy produced and greenhouse gases avoided — online (www.solarforbuildings.com) and on a display screen in the lobby

As a complement to the building’s primary electricity supply, the grid-tie solar power system offsets the amount of power drawn from the grid and helps keep monthly power bills low,
all while reducing the building’s dependency on the electrical utility. According to Ron St. Onge, project manager with Public Works and Government Services Canada, the grid-tie solar power
system supplies approximately 8-10% of the building’s electrical requirements, helping to keep demand, and electricity bills, under control. “It requires virtually zero maintenance, and aside
from monitoring electrical production, it’s self sufficient,” said St. Onge. 

The CanSIA solar conference is held annually to help highlight opportunities, programs and achievements within the solar industry. For more information, visit CanSIA at www.cansia.ca,
or visit Carmanah at www.carmanah.com.      

Human breast stem cells that regrow mammary tissue: BC Cancer Agency discovery

A team of scientists at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver have made an important advance for breast cancer. Published this week in the leading medical journal, Nature Medicine, their exciting study shows that the normal female breast contains a population of breast stem cells – each being able to regrow a complete miniature, milk-producing mammary gland after being transplanted into a special type of mouse. Many investigators believe these normal breast stem cells are the culprits that start to form breast cancers. 

"We are excited to have developed an approach that, for the first time, makes it possible to detect the long suspected stem cell of the normal human breast", explains Peter Eirew, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in genetics at the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Lab and University of British Columbia. "I am very proud to have been successful in moving the field closer towards improving outcomes in breast cancer."

The study is also significant because it involved the development of a novel method for detecting human breast stem cells. First the cells are suspended in a gelatin disc and then the disc is slipped under the kidney capsule of mice that have no immune system. These mice can’t tell the human cells are foreign and so allow them to grow freely. It is remarkable to see that the human cells can then self-organize into little functional mammary glands fed by a blood supply that is provided by the mouse.

Dr. Samuel Aparicio of the BC Cancer Agency and co-author explains, "The long term aim is to figure out what makes normal breast stem cells tick and then use this information to see what may be high-jacked or distorted when these cells become malignant.

Says Dr Connie Eaves, Director of the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory, and senior author of the paper, "There is tremendous potential for this knowledge to accelerate the identification of better treatments for breast cancer, particularly the worst kinds."

Dr. Eaves is a recognized world authority on blood-forming stem cells but has also developed a major focus of work on breast cancer. The work now published on human breast stem cells follows a landmark study from her group in 2006 that identified a similar population of breast stem cells in the mouse. The presence at the BC Cancer Agency of a highly collaborative and top breast cancer research program was key to accelerating the translation of the mouse work to humans.

The research performed in Vancouver was made possible by support from the BC Cancer Foundation; Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC and Yukon; Canada Research Chair Program; Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance; Canadian Cancer Society/National Cancer Institute of Canada; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council; Genome British Columbia and Genome Canada; the Canadian Stem Cell Network; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Terry Fox Foundation; and the US Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care.

The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency, throughout British Columbia. Your donations to the BC Cancer Foundation contribute to better cancer outcomes and higher standards of cancer care for all B.C. residents.

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 For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jinny Wu
Communications Specialist, BC Cancer Agency
Tel: 604.877.6272
Toll-free: 1.800.663.3333, ex 6272