VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Innovation Support Fund, established in 2010 by the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency, is enabling cancer researchers to accelerate research discoveries throughout the province with a $405,000 investment in equipment and technology needs.

The Innovation Support Fund provides province-wide funding for the purchase of new and enhanced equipment that may not otherwise be accessible through granting agencies. The goal is to help BC Cancer Agency scientists remain competitive, current and strategic—and to continue improving patient outcomes.

“Equipment is essential to conducting successful cancer research. Our donors recognize this priority by supporting the purchase of state-of-the-art research equipment,” says Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. “Through the Innovation Support Fund, our donors are creating opportunities for our researchers to explore new avenues of research and get higher quality results more quickly, that translates to improvements on detection and treatment of cancer,” adds Nelson.

The 2013 applications were peer-reviewed by a committee of 14 clinicians and researchers, chaired by Dr. Keith Humphries, director of the BC Cancer Agency's Terry Fox Laboratory. Applications were ranked and prioritized, and more than $405,000 was awarded to purchase state-of-the-art microscopes and imaging tools, liquid nitrogen freezers, lasers, scanners and other equipment vital to the Agency's strategic research projects.

“The true value of the Innovation Support Grant is well beyond its actual worth as it supports the purchase of tools and equipment shared by many different research programs and platforms at the BC Cancer Agency” said Dr. Samuel Abraham, Vice President Strategic Relationships; Interim Vice President Research. “Our sincere gratitude goes to the BC Cancer Foundation and the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation for continued support of the foundational building blocks needed to advance our research.”

Made possible by support from the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation, this year's awards bring the four-year total for this fund to over $1.5 million dollars.

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The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge.  As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.

Media enquiries please contact:
 
Monica Bisal, Communications Specialist
BC Cancer Foundation
t. 604-707-5934
 

Jenn Currie, Communications Officer
BC Cancer Agency
t. 604-675-8106

e. jenn.currie@bccancer.bc.ca