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Date: March 29, 2005

Island Economy To Benefit From UVic Tech Park Purchase

The University of Victoria announced today that it has purchased the Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP), a move that will help to power the continued growth of the region’s technology sectors.

The VITP is an ultra-modern research and technology transfer centre located at the site of the former Glendale institution on Markham Street in Saanich. Established by the provincial government to provide physical infrastructure that links local resources with emerging or growing tech companies, the 14.2-hectare site opened in April 2002 under the aegis of the B.C. Buildings Corporation (BCBC). The renovated facility has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-level status for its cutting-edge, environmentally conscious and energy-efficient design.

“I am delighted that UVic is expanding its leadership commitment to technology transfer in this way,” said Joyce Murray, Minister of Management Services with responsibility for the BCBC. “It’s great news for people who work in the region’s burgeoning high-tech field. This facility, with its world-class environmental designation, is one of the finest examples in North America of sustainable development. I am confident that UVic will continue to provide exemplary stewardship of this most valuable asset.”

“As one of the leading research institutions in Canada, the University of Victoria understands the importance of putting knowledge to work for British Columbians,” says UVic President Dr. David Turpin. “This acquisition will allow UVic to continue fostering the start-up and growth of high-tech companies on Vancouver Island, moving the university, VITP and the sector to the next level. It also means that, by building on the solid foundation established by BCBC, we can provide a range of commercial space for UVic research-generated spin-off businesses and outside high-tech companies.”

The university already provides on-campus incubator space through its technology transfer office, the Innovation and Development Corporation (IDC), which is responsible for the birth of 35 spin-off companies. Zoning for the VITP property and the master plan for the site will allow the total building space to more than double over time to provide for the growth of the existing tenants and to accommodate the needs of new high tech companies.

The 23 current tenants at the VITP—a mixture of technology, research, commercial and industrial companies— employ approximately 1,200 people and directly contribute $75 million annually to B.C.’s economy. All 23 operate within the technology clusters identified by the provincial government as critical to economic growth in B.C. A number of the companies either got their start at UVic, involve UVic graduates or employ UVic co-op students. The VITP represents the greatest concentration of high-tech companies and workers on Vancouver Island.

UVic is funding the $20.2 million purchase through revenue from the facility. The purchase will not affect UVic’s operating budget or operations on campus.

Staff in the existing VITP office will continue to run the facility and the change in ownership will not affect the status of VITP tenants.

The sale is receiving support from high tech leaders.

Most major research institutions in the U.S. have developed or are affiliated with research and technology parks, and several universities in Canada have created similar relationships.

Announcement video.

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Media contacts:

Dr. David Turpin, President
Bruce Kilpatrick, Director, UVic Communications at (250) 721-7638 or bkilpat@uvic.ca


Backgrounders:
Response From High-tech Leaders
Tech Transfer At The University Of Victoria
VITP Tenants
History of the Vancouver Island Technology Park
Photos page:
Island Economy To Benefit From UVic Tech Park Purchase Images

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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