Skip to main content

Partnering for a Shared Future

April 10, 2024

UVic’s world-leading research was proudly on display at the Legislative Assembly of BC yesterday. The lunchtime research showcase attracted over 70 BC Ministers, MLAs, policymakers intrigued by the innovative technologies, programs and solutions being developed at UVic and making a difference throughout BC .

Nine diverse research groups demonstrated how they are collaborating with partners to address critical issues related to climate change, housing affordability, workplace shortages, and Indigenous language revitalization.

UVic researchers interact with Ministers at BC Leg
Clockwise from top left: Brenda Bailey engaging with UVic’s Centre for Aerospace Research (CfAR) on cutting edge new drone technology; Minister George Heyman connects with a student from UVic’s new Coastal Climate Solutions Leaders graduate training program; UVic professors Dennis Hore and Bruce Wallace discussing the research data available to policymakers through UVic’s Substance drug checking program with Minister Murray Rankin; Dr. Derek Jacoby shares a cross-institutional collaboration bringing Indigenous worldviews to immersive technologies with Minister Dan Coulter

UVic presenters

Research groups in attendance

Substance UVic

Substance UVic is a drug checking initiative responding to the toxic drug emergency in BC. The interdisciplinary team of chemists, social workers, computer scientists, pharmacists and public health professionals has implemented new instruments, technologies and practices to help people avoid the harm and risks associated with the unregulated drug supply. Substance also monitors and reports on the illegal drug supply to inform policy makers and public health service providers responding to the overdose crisis.

Dr. Bruce Wallace, Professor, School of Social Work


CanAssist at UVic is dedicated to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life, with a focus on promoting independence and inclusion. The CanAssist team of engineers, software developers and program coordinators develops innovative technologies and programs where there are gaps in existing services and engages UVic students, faculty and community partners to raise awareness of disability issues.

Robin Syme, Executive Director, CanAssist

Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET)

UVic’s Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET) initiative brings together multi-disciplinary research teams from five leading universities alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities with fewer than 500,000 residents to create and invest in place-based, low-carbon energy solutions. ACET will help transform regional economies, inform inclusive national policies, and integrate breakthrough renewable energy technologies to place Canada at the forefront of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net-zero targets.

Dr. Curran Crawford, Executive Director, ACET 

UVic Centre for Aerospace Research (CfAR)

UVic’s Centre for Aerospace Research (CfAR) is Canada’s premier research hub for sustainable aviation. For more than 15 years, CfAR has excelled in the design, development and testing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and CubeSATs, and is a proven leader in Canadian aerospace. CfAR pushes the boundaries of what is possible with modern aviation technologies and fosters the growth of young engineers in BC.

Dr. Afzal Suleman, Director, CfAR

Right to Housing Aspiration Research Cluster

UVic’s Right to Housing Research Cluster works in partnership with community to mobilize research and action on housing and homelessness issues, including providing relevant information to provincial governments on the right to housing.

Dr. Jeff Masuda and Dr. Bernie Pauly

Digital Storytelling and Social Simulation Lab

The Digital Storytelling and Social Simulation Lab brings together researchers and students from UVic’s engineering and fine arts faculties to collaborate with cultural and educational partners on interdisciplinary projects that use extended reality (VR, AR, MR) and other new creative technologies for positive social and ecological impact.

Prof. David Leach and Dr. Derek Jacoby

INSPIRE: STEM for Social Impact

INSPIRE: STEM for Social Impact is a UVic program led through the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science in collaboration with the Faculty of Science and Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives . INSPIRE works closely with community, industry and research partners to solve real-world problems within local communities.

Dr. Daniela Damian

Indigenous language revitalization

Onowa McIvor and kakiyosēw Belinda Daniels represent the NEȾOLṈEW̱ Research Partnership, a collective working towards nationwide Indigenous language revitalization. They are also co-leads of UVic’s Indigenous Language Revitalization Research Cluster and the driving force behind developing an ILR Research Centre to strengthen local language resurgence.

Dr. Onowa McIvor 

Coastal Climate Solutions Leaders program

BC urgently needs a climate action workforce that is adept at working across disciplinary boundaries and sectors. Bridging across sciences, engineering, social sciences, business and law, UVic’s new NSERC CREATE graduate training program delivers enriched interdisciplinary and intersectoral training to prepare the next generation of leaders with the knowledge, experience and skills needed to address the complexities of climate change.

Dr. Julia Baum