UVic’s new BioInnovation Hub will be a collaborative workspace for innovators and entrepreneurs

A new front door to the University of Victoria is advancing health sciences innovation.

Douglas Magazine - Jun/Jul 2023 (A new front door to the University of Victoria is advancing health sciences innovation.)

To paraphrase, many brains make light work. UVic’s new BioInnovation Hub, in partnership with Vancouver Island Life Sciences, is a collaborative workspace housed in an unimposing Saanich mall. Here entrepreneurs and life sciences organizations can connect with UVic researchers, access equipment, share resources and explore opportunities for collaboration. 

Located in the Saanich Plaza across from Uptown and above Soccer World, the hub provides short-term “incubator” space for early-stage startups in the health field. Other occupants of the 1,188-square-foot space include commercial firms such as PharmaBioSource and the Victoria Hand Project. UVic’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology will also have a presence on site to facilitate university-industry connections and provide access to on-campus resources such as the CAMTEC Biomedical Core for equipment, facilities and research talent.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the life sciences community,” says Lisa Kalynchuk, UVic’s vice-president of research and innovation. “The hub will provide a welcoming space for both innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The BioInnovation hub is one of several community-based hubs connected to UVic’s broader Innovation Network, which seeks to raise the university’s profile as a catalyst for regional, social and economic development and collaborative problem-solving.

The hub expansion builds on the success of the Coast Capital Innovation Centre, a well-known campus resource for entrepreneurship training and support. Since its launch in 2016, the centre has supported more than 1,300 students and 150 start-ups. 

Over the past decade, nearly 400 UVic researchers working in life sciences and medicine have published more than 3,000 papers and have been cited over 75,000 times. More than half of these papers were co-authored with researchers in other countries, demonstrating the impact of UVic’s work on a global scale.

Says Kalynchuk, “When we think about where we are now as a society, with all of the pressing challenges that we’re trying to confront, we’re only going to solve these issues if we work together.”