Created by the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Thompson Rivers University (TRU), and University of British Columbia-Okanagan (UBC-O) in 2017, the Interior University Research Coalition forms a core of research and innovation talent and infrastructure in the BC Interior.
Together we educate over 40,000 students on our campuses and online, are home to 49 Research Chairs, employ more than 3,500 faculty and staff, and generate an economic impact of more than $2.9 billion.
The goal of the IURC is to accelerate the BC Interior’s research and innovation ecosystem by harmonizing resources, enhancing student and faculty mobility, increasing academic opportunities, and establishing community connections.
The IURC will create new opportunities for the BC Interior by attracting additional talent and investment, by building on the region’s existing strengths and resources, and by creating new opportunities for economic and social innovation. The Coalition will leverage the resources, affiliations and expertise, connecting publicly-funded research and researchers with community, business and industry experts, and will advance the research and development and commercialization potential of the BC Interior.
Our research themes
- Environment & Natural Resources
- Community & Cultural Engagement
- Indigenous Culture & Communities
- Northern, Rural Health & Wellness
- Education & Diversity
- Technology & Optimization
- UBC and TRU team up to explore useful bio-products found in cannabis
- Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham, associate professor, microbiology, TRU, joined by Dr. Cori Lausen, TRU adjunct faculty, and Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada bat biologist, and Dr. Karen Hodges, conservation ecologist, UBC-O, for “Developing a Prophylactic Probiotic Approach to Reducing Severity of White-Nose Syndrome in Bats.”
- Dr. Robert Hanlon, assistant professor, politics, TRU, with Dr. Paul Bowles, professor, international studies, UNBC, and Dr. Khan Jahirul Islam, Lecturer, Economics, UBC-O, for “Canada and the Asia Pacific Policy Project.”
- Dr. John Hull, associate professor, tourism management, TRU, with Dr. Donna Senese, associate professor, geography, UBC-O, for “Exploring wine, craft beer/cider, culinary tourism futures through rural resilience.”
- Dr. Xiaoping Shi, assistant professor, mathematics and statistics, TRU, with Dr. John Braun, professor, statistics, UBC-O, and Dr. Mark Wolters, researcher, mathematical sciences, Fudan University, for “Smoke detection from hyperspectral data.”
2019 Interior University Research Coalition Symposium
The IURC's second annual research symposium will:
- provide an opportunity for researchers across the three campuses to connect;
- introduce collaborative funding opportunities and possible research team building; and
- build a collaborative research community across the three campuses.
The 2019 Symposium will be held at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George in April, 2019.
Director, Business Development, BC Interior
BC’s research response to a global climate crisis
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
KAMLOOPS – BC’s three Interior universities have teamed up to help communities tackle natural disasters head-on.
“Floods and wild fires are becoming all too common and devastating communities not only in the Interior but across the globe. Through research, universities can help find solutions for the future,” said Dr. Brett Fairbairn, President and Vice-Chancellor, Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
TRU, along with UBC Okanagan and the University of Northern BC have offered
to fund research projects designed to address immediate challenges posed by climate change. This initiative is the result of a formal partnership between the universities – the Interior Universities Research Coalition (IURC) – formed in 2017.
This initiative responds to a pressing need in the province, as outlined in the 2018 independent report commissioned by the provincial government, Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia. The report called for an increase in applied research in ecology, fire science, social science and economics, as it relates to natural disaster management.
“We see this as just the start,” said Dr. Will Garrett-Petts, Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies. “We have set up ‘pump priming’ grantsdesigned to fund projects in the early stages of development, to facilitate the collection of pilot data and the building of collaborative research teams. We are driven to respond to the problems that our communities face. That’s what action-based research really is. It means we get out there, and we change the way things are done, for the better.”
“We are living on the front lines of flood and fire events, and our researchers are well-positioned to do the research that our region needs for better responding to, preparing for, and recovering from natural disasters,” said Janice Larson, Director of the Tri-University Partnership Office.
The IURC and its researchers, who live and work within flood and fire danger zones, are acutely aware of these new realities, and are particularly invested in working with their communities, their regional colleagues, and global experts to help answer the questions that this 'new normal’ presents.
Proposals for the IURC Disaster PR3 (Prevention, Response, Recovery, Resilience) Collaborative Grants initiative have been received, and the research teams will be mobilized this spring.
The IRUC believes the research undertaken will not only benefit BC, but also potentially support communities around the world as they face similar climate-related challenges.