VIU has a unique mandate to serve the Island and Coastal region. The Regional Initiatives Fund (RIF) is an initiative undertaken in partnership between Vancouver Island University (VIU) and the Province of British Columbia and the Real Estate Foundation of BC to enable communities of Vancouver Island to collaborate on projects that develop scholarly connections through meaningful student involvement in community-based applied research that directly respond to community needs, that promote innovative and sustainable solutions to those needs and that benefit regional initiatives relating to lands, people, and sustainability with a particular interest in supporting Indigenous communities and projects.
This fund is a unique opportunity for entities in the VIU region to engage with faculty and students using a cost shared model. All applications require matching contributions from a community partner, VIU and the fund which results in strong leveraging. Since the fund was announced in March 2017, 10 applications have been funded in 5 different disciplines for projects that range from evaluating the economic impact of the local artisan economy, exploring the potential of biodiesel, supporting communities in community, tourism and open space planning, and monitoring changes in fish habitat and air quality. This research has enabled a wide range of community entities to benefit from funding, expertise and labour available at VIU. The insights this research will provide to them gives them opportunities to make informed decisions for the growth and resilience of key economic sectors.
We hope to make this funding an ongoing opportunity for community partners to enable VIU to continue making significant contributions to the intellectual capital in the region.
For more information on this fund, contact Tanis Dagert, Community Engagement and Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Tanis.Dagert@viu.ca
Next call for submissions: November 15, 2018 and May 15, 2019