Research & Development
BCIT and Teck open Teck Copper Innovation Hub
February 8, 2023
BURNABY, BC – British Columbia Institute of Technology and Teck Resources Ltd. announced the opening of the new Teck Copper Innovation Hub. Made possible by a $1.75 million donation from Teck, the facility will enable BCIT researchers and students to research and test the use of antimicrobial copper in a range of healthcare devices, including prosthetics and orthotics.
Copper has unique antimicrobial properties and is proven effective in eliminating up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria which can make healthcare applications safer for patients and healthcare professionals.
The Teck Copper Innovation Hub, located inside the BCIT Centre for Applied Research and Innovation, will use additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, to produce healthcare devices composed of copper and composites.
“The Teck Copper Innovation Hub combines the state-of-the-art research capabilities of BCIT Applied Research with the industry expertise of Teck to drive innovation across a growing interdisciplinary field,” said Paul McCullough (pictured), Interim President, BCIT. “This partnership amplifies the collaborative strength of our organizations and establishes a new hands-on learning environment that will have meaningful impact in the healthcare field and beyond.”
The facility will also advance research projects and education focused on exploring new ways that copper can be used to enhance health and safety in real-life applications. In today’s fast-moving world, additive manufacturing can quickly create objects that will serve as prototypes for the healthcare industry.
BCIT has a longstanding partnership with Teck which includes collaborative efforts to advance research and education in British Columbia. Last October, Teck made the second-largest contribution to the BCIT INSPIRE Campaign of $5 million to support campus redevelopment and new teaching and learning innovations in trades and health care.
Teck also partnered with BCIT to install more than one thousand antimicrobial copper patches on high-touch surfaces at the BCIT Burnaby Campus as an extra layer of protection for BCIT students, staff, and visitors.
“Copper’s unique antimicrobial properties make it perfect for use in health care, making high-touch surfaces and medical devices like prosthetics safer,” said Jonathan Price, CEO, Teck. “The new Teck Copper Innovation Hub will explore innovative new ways to use antimicrobial copper to enhance safety for patients and healthcare professionals and we applaud BCIT for advancing this important work.”
About Teck’s Copper & Health Program
Through its Copper & Health program, Teck has funded numerous initiatives across a range of industries and public facilities to help improve health and safety in high-traffic, high-touch areas through the installation of antimicrobial copper. Teck’s Copper & Health program has installed copper surfaces in a number of healthcare facilities, including Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital, on public transit in partnership with TransLink and Toronto Transit Commission, in attractions including Science World and Royal Ontario Museum, and in post-secondary institutions through partnerships with BCIT, SFU, and UBC. There is no commercial benefit to Teck from the increased use of antimicrobial copper as the amount of metal needed is very small; the goal of the program is to improve health and safety for communities. For more information about the role of antimicrobial copper, the Copper & Health program, and other examples of copper in action, please visit www.coppersaveslives.com
As one of Canada’s leading mining companies, Teck is committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal. Copper, zinc and high-quality steelmaking coal are required for the transition to a low-carbon world. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Teck’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TECK.A and TECK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TECK.
For nearly 60 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been delivering flexible, relevant, and future-proof education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges. As one of BC’s largest post-secondary institutes with five campuses, 300+ programs, and over 45,000 students enrolled each year, BCIT connects education, industry, and government in building an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact. Learn more at www.bcit.ca