News Archives: GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre Receives $1.75M Funding Renewal from NSERC
Monday, November 19th, 2018
BEAVERLODGE – A successful funding application has ensured Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC)’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) will continue operations as a Technology Access Centre (TAC) for another five years. GPRC’s application to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has been approved, granting the research and diagnostic centre a renewal on its current status as a TAC and securing a total of $1.75M in funds over the next five years.
“We’ve seen demand for our services grow each year since we opened our doors,” said Patricia Wolf Veiga, Acting Manager of NBDC. “The renewed support from NSERC means we will be able to build our capacity in step with the growing demand for our research and diagnostic services.”
“This is great progress for NBDC, and something our College and community should be proud of. NSERC renewing their commitment to NBDC is a huge step forward for bee research and diagnostics in Canada,” said Don Gnatiuk, President and CEO of GPRC.
TAC status is designated by NSERC to college research facilities that serve regional business innovation goals and offer technological assistance and expertise to solve industry problems. NBDC was established as a TAC to serve Canada’s beekeeping industry when it opened its doors in 2013 and remains one of only 30 TACs in Canada.
The renewed funding announcement comes eighteen months after GPRC received the Post-secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (PSIF) in May 2017, enabling a major expansion project to proceed. Funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments and GPRC, this project tripled the floor space and capacity of the NBDC laboratory upon its completion in summer 2018. The expanded building is a shared workspace between NBDC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)’s Beaverlodge Research Farm.
“We are creating a more solidified partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,” said Dr. Andrew Dunlop, Interim Director of Research and Innovation at GPRC. “With the expansion, strengthened partnerships, and now this critical funding announcement, it is an exciting time in NBDC’s history.”
GPRC’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre is the first comprehensive laboratory in Canada to provide a full array of diagnostic services for honey bee pests, pathogens, and parasites. The NBDC is the result of a partnership between GPRC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Beaverlodge Research Farm) in response to the needs of the beekeeping industry. NBDC provides comprehensive research and diagnostic services to the beekeeping industry for a healthy, sustainable and profitable apiculture.
GPRC is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. Established in 1966 in Grande Prairie, GPRC now includes campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and learning centres in Edson, Grande Cache, Hinton and Jasper. GPRC offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities. For more information, visit gprc.ab.ca.
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