Nov 6, 2018

Vancouver, BC –  Langara College has been awarded grants totaling $440K from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), under the College and Community Innovation Program and the College and Community Social Innovation Fund in support of two exciting projects. 

One of the projects aims to bridge the gap for Indigenous learners. Rick Ouellet, Director of Aboriginal Education and Services, was awarded $240,000 to develop a custom curriculum for Indigenous students who currently do not qualify for post-secondary education in BC. Tailored curriculum in the areas of English and math will be designed and taught to two cohorts over the next two years. The cohorts will be off campus, first on reserve at Musqueam and then at the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) in East Vancouver. The goal is to create momentum in upgrading Indigenous learners in support of enhanced post-secondary attainment.

“The key component of this project is the partnership with Musqueam and UNYA,” says Ouellet. “We will be working closely with them to identify the best way to upgrade students who seek a positive educational experience.”

The second project is focused on designing bioinformatics and biochemistry tools that support the craft brewing industry in BC. Langara’s biology instructors Dave Anderson and Ji Yang and chemistry instructor Kelly Sveinson will lead a team of science students to collaborate with local breweries, including Parallel 49 Brewing, to develop tools for detecting beer spoilage and yeast degradation. A component of the project also involves analyzing the lineage of wild BC hops to support novel product development, a collaboration with HOOH Organic Hop Company.

“These funds allow us to deliver advanced training to our students, as well as provide technology and access to the skills of our faculty, to an industry that is of growing importance to the economy of our region,” says Sveinson. “It’s a pleasure to show our students how their college education can be applied to real challenges.”

These projects provide opportunities for students to collaborate with researchers, industry partners, and the community. The grants were facilitated by the Langara College Applied Research Centre.

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) supports university students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.

About the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program 
The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by NSERC, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The goal of the program is to increase innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. It supports applied research and collaborations that facilitate commercialization, as well as technology transfer, adaptation and adoption of new technologies.

About Langara
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 21,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as house of teachings, a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located. 

Learn more.
Sylvia Tuason
Communications & Marketing Services
Langara College