A new innovation hub has officially opened at BCIT.
The Teck Copper Innovation Hub, which was created through a $1.75 million donation from Teck, will allow BCIT students and researchers at the Burnaby campus to study and test the use of antimicrobial copper in different healthcare devices including prosthetics and orthotics.
A news release states copper has unique antimicrobial properties and is effective in eliminating up to 99.9 per cent of harmful bacteria which can make healthcare applications safer for patients and healthcare professionals.
"Copper's unique antimicrobial properties make it perfect for use in health care, making high-touch surfaces and medical devices like prosthetics safer," explained Teck CEO Jonathan Price.
"The new Teck Copper Innovation Hub will explore innovative new ways to use antimicrobial copper to enhance safety for patients and health care professionals and we applaud BCIT for advancing this important work."
The innovation hub, which is located inside the BCIT Centre for Applied Research and Innovation, will use 3D printing to produce healthcare devices made of copper and composites.
Teck and BCIT added the facility will also advance research projects and education focused on exploring new ways that copper can be used to enhance health and safety in real-life applications.
"The Teck Copper Innovation Hub combines the state-of-the-art research capabilities of BCIT Applied Research with the industry expertise of Teck to drive innovation across a growing interdisciplinary field," BCIT interim president Paul McCullough added.
"This partnership amplifies the collaborative strength of our organizations and establishes a new hands-on learning environment that will have meaningful impact in the healthcare field and beyond.”
Teck also made a $5-million donation to BCIT to support the campus’ redevelopment — with a particular emphasis on the use of antimicrobial copper in October of 2022.
The contribution included $1.4 million in capital funding for the health sciences centre, including installations of antimicrobial copper, and $3.6 million for the trades and technology complex.
The donation was the second-largest contribution to BCIT's Inspire campaign, after Concert Properties donated $7.5 million for the school's trades complex.
- with files from Lauren Vanderdeen, Burnaby NOW