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Date: September 15, 2005

UVic Prof Honoured for Beneficial Work

Dr. Nigel LivingstonDr. Nigel Livingston leads the UVic Assistive Technology Team (UVATT)
Dr. Nigel Livingston and his team help people with special needs

UVic biologist Dr. Nigel Livingston is this year’s recipient of the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Technology and Innovation Award from the BC Innovation Council. The award recognizes the development of highly innovative, new technology based on applied research that has a positive impact on the province. For several years Livingston has led the UVic Assistive Technology Team (UVATT), a group of UVic faculty, staff and students who have volunteered their time and expertise to develop and test new devices for people with disabilities.

“I was absolutely thrilled to hear of the award and, of course, I am deeply honoured,” says Livingston. “I feel so privileged and fortunate to be part of UVATT and work with such incredible people—students, faculty, staff, community volunteers and, most especially, those people with special needs and their caregivers. It is really wonderful that the work done by members of the team and their supporters has been recognized in this way.”

UVATT’s current projects include communication systems that don’t require the use of hands and can be activated by eye or tongue, adjustments to wheelchairs to make them comfortable in inclement weather, and a glucose meter that will voice test results for people who are visually impaired. Earlier this year, a new spin-off company, Inspired Devices (IDI), was formed to work with UVATT to deliver its innovative solutions to people with special needs on a local, national and international level.

“Nigel’s achievements are truly exceptional and UVic is proud to be the base for these extraordinary contributions to the health and well-being of the communities we serve regionally and nationally,” says UVic vice president research Dr. Martin Taylor. “The innovative technologies that he and his UVATT team of researchers and students have developed are transforming the lives of those disadvantaged by physical and cognitive challenges. From a young developmentally disabled boy learning to walk with musical footprints to a young girl with cerebral palsy triggering a talking toy with the nod of her head, all have benefited from the work of UVATT and Nigel’s leadership.”

BC Innovation Council is a Crown agency of the province of British Columbia that supports applied research and commercialization of science and technology to foster province-wide economic development. It serves as a one-stop point of access and support to companies, educational institutions, technology industry and awareness groups, federal science and technology agencies, and university research labs.

Livingston and the UVATT members will be recognized at a gala awards dinner in Vancouver on Oct. 17.

In April, Livingston was named the Academic of the Year by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C. In June, he won the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre’s Community Involvement Award. He is also the recipient of the 2005 University of Victoria Community Leadership Award.
Media contacts:
Dr. Nigel Livingston is available at (250) 812-5585 from 9 a.m. to noon PDT on
Sept. 15
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

Photos page:
UVic Prof Honoured for Beneficial Work Images

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