City of Burnaby and Simon Fraser University launch Civic Innovation Lab

Last updated: July 15, 2022

The City of Burnaby and Simon Fraser University officially launched the Civic Innovation Lab on July 14, a partnership project that will harness the academic and research capacity of SFU to find fresh solutions to issues and challenges affecting Canadian cities.

“Our world is changing rapidly and cities like Burnaby need to be able to adapt quickly and deploy innovative solutions to solve the emerging challenges we face in the 21st century, and we’re excited to be partnering with one of Canada’s top research universities to find those solutions.” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “This is an exciting moment for our community as municipalities across Canada will benefit from the projects in development at the Civic Innovation Lab.”

“SFU is home to many researchers who are passionate about making a difference and whose work is directly relevant to the cities we live in,” says SFU President Joy Johnson. “I am thrilled that the Civic Innovation Lab will give them a chance to apply that knowledge, making a difference in our local communities and directly improving the lives of people in Burnaby and beyond.”

The launch event was hosted at the Christine Sinclair Community Centre, which will also serve as the headquarters for the Civic Innovation Lab (CIL). During the event, initial projects areas of the CIL were introduced, which include:

  • Expansion of Burnaby’s ongoing involvement in the ‘Mobility, Access, and Participation (MAP) Among People with Disabilities’ project, to improve community inclusivity and accessibility for people with disabilities;
  • Furthering of the Urban Resilient Futures Initiative, to drive the creation of a community-led, locally developed framework for a resilient, low-carbon future;
  • Improving the water quality of Deer Lake, with a goal to make it swimmable again and to further nourish the local ecosystem; and
  • Exploration of hydrogen power to provide energy for civic facilities, as part of implementing the City’s Energy Strategy and Climate Action Framework.

The CIL is designed to be a long-term partnership which will provide the City with a permanent research base to solidify its leadership role in sustainability, climate action, housing and other high-value areas.

The benefits of this partnership would also extend to SFU students and researchers who gain from the opportunity to apply their education and knowledge to the development of innovative solutions on the ground.

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