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YVR and BCIT sign MOU to collaborate on innovative applied research projects

MOU will support development, advancement and implementation of innovation initiatives, including the airport’s Digital Twin and BCIT’s Smart Campus Development.

Today, Vancouver Airport Authority and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) came together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This new MOU strengthens the existing partnership between these organizations, in which they are working together to use applied research, technology and innovation to solve real-world challenges.

The foundational principal of the MOU is to create real-world opportunities for BCIT students to learn, collaborate and apply their industry-driven ideas within the innovation and technology environment at YVR, through the airport’s Digital Twin and other initiatives under its Innovation Hub.

“We are proud to deepen our relationship with BCIT and welcome more innovators, thinkers and contributors to YVR as we support future generations of B.C.’s tech talent and drive innovation in the region,” said Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “YVR’s existing partnership with BCIT and its Centre for Internet of Things has already demonstrated how innovative thinking can be taken beyond the classroom and transformed into reality. With this MOU, the possibilities are now endless.”

BCIT and YVR first came together in 2021 under an MOU that focussed on the Centre for Internet of Things (IoT). Through this collaboration, YVR and BCIT identified areas for applied research and ultimately established a living lab for students to respond to an industry challenge at YVR. As a result, BCIT students created a digital solution to monitor the water quality at outfall stations on Sea Island in real-time, automating a manual and time-consuming process. Other collaborations, such as those focused on data analytics, are industry-driven examples of digital transformation that further demonstrate how, together, BCIT and YVR are providing solutions to real-world problems.

The new MOU will allow the organizations to take on broader innovation projects that aren’t limited to IoT, such as integrating YVR’s Digital Twin with BCIT’s Smart Campus Development to explore potential use cases for process efficiencies, smart design and wayfinding.

“The partnership between BCIT and YVR is a leading-edge example of multidisciplinary innovation and another example of how we are contributing to the economic prosperity of B.C.,” said Paul McCullough, Interim President, BCIT. “This pan-institute collaboration will create a living lab for our BCIT students and faculty as they work alongside industry leaders to solve real-world problems – all critical to building an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact.” 

The Innovation Hub @YVR is a platform that develops, tests and trials new processes and sustainable technologies in collaboration with the community, such as the deployment and continued development of YVR’s Digital Twin and the recent partnership with the Province as part of the Integrated Marketplace Initiative to support made-in-B.C. tech companies.

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