Fanshawe College opens biotechnology research centre
$10.2 million project was funded by college, feds, and province
A new biotechnology research centre dedicated to supporting the agri-food industry, a key Southwestern Ontario employer, was unveiled Friday at Fanshawe College in London.
“It brings us into the 21st century. All the labs are state of the art,” said Joel Van Bynen, lab operations manager for the new Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation in Biotechnology. “It’s hugely forward in terms of reaching out to community partners in real world applications.”
The $10.2-million project was funded by the college, a federal grant of $4 million and $2.2 million from the province.
“(The facility) allows our students and faculty teams to offer collaborative research support to local biotechnology partners in the agri-food industry,” Fanshawe president Peter Devlin said.
The facility includes 1,200 square metres of teaching labs for biology, chemistry, instrumentation and physics.
It deals with live tissue only and plant cultivation, and has no animal testing, Van Bynen said.
Lindsay Engel, chair of applied science and technology, called the new facility “a huge achievement” that will lead to increased economic development in the region.
“This space will allow students to learn, explore and understand the theoretical and practical sciences,” she said.
Students, she said, can graduate with an applied degree in biotechnology, advanced diploma in chemical laboratory technology or environmental sciences, she said.
“Jobs vary but you could work in quality assurance, work in a laboratory or you could go on to university,” she said.
Politicians at the event included federal minster of science and sport Kirsty Duncan.
“It’s a good day for research and a good day for London,” she said.
Brad Van Damme, a co-op student at Fanshawe College, mixes a solution in Fanshawe’s new Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation in Biotechnology.