Selkirk College performs well at KAST Spirit of Innovation Awards
Four finalists from Selkirk College went up against some of the region’s most innovative businesses at the recent Kootenay Association of Science and Technology (KAST) Spirit of Innovation Awards and one took home the Innovative Organization award at the end of the evening.
Held only every four years, the KAST Spirit of Innovation Awards set out to recognize the best science and technology businesses, organizations and innovators in the West Kootenay-Boundary region. The awards honour local businesses, organizations and individuals who have demonstrated innovation through research and development and/or the application of science and technology through four categories: Top Innovator, Most Promising Emerging Company, Innovative Company and Innovative Organization.
Selkirk College had three finalists in two of the categories. Selkirk College’s School of the Arts and Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) were both finalists in the Innovative Organization category, and Dr. Delia Roberts, Selkirk College UAS faculty member, was nominated in the Top Innovator category. SGRC took home the award for Innovative Organization.
“I’m very honoured and quite surprised,” said SGRC coordinator and Selkirk College School of Environment and Geomatics instructor, Ian Parfitt, after winning the award. “I’m very proud of my team and of Selkirk College for all the work we’ve done to put this organization together.”
The SGRC is a centre of excellence in computer mapping that has grown into a leading research and development facility, which links Selkirk College’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) teaching programs with community needs and business opportunities.
Parfitt said that the SGRC is part of Selkirk College’s fourth Strategic Direction to “Expand our impact on community development and innovation”, and the award helps support the college in that direction. “We’re showing that Selkirk College supports the community in more ways than the teaching and learning we’ve excelled at for such a long time. We’re now doing applied research and hopefully contributing to the economic development of the region as well.”
The School of the Arts was recognized for its state-of-the-art facilities in performance, music, arts and digital media that allow graduates to be on the cutting-edge of new media and music business culture.
Dr. Delia Roberts, instructor of biology in Selkirk College’s School of University Arts and Sciences, was a finalist for the Top Innovator award for her research into occupational health and safety that has helped bring about a significant decrease in workplace injury rates in a number of industries such as forestry, tourism, transportation and medicine.
The college would also like to recognize and congratulate our fourth finalist, Selkirk instructor, Adrian Barnes, who was nominated for his work as president of Lone Sheep Publishing. Barnes teaches English in UAS and received a nomination in the Most Promising Startup category.
“If the hallmark of the KAST Spirit of Innovation Awards is possessing the passion to dream and the drive to make those dreams a reality, then our Selkirk colleagues who were among the awards’ finalists were well chosen,” said Selkirk College President, Angus Graeme.