The Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (RIC) is an endowed research chair position that was established in 2005 resulting from $1.5 million raised by Selkirk College and matched with $1.5 million from the Provincial Government’s Leading Edge Foundation through BC’s Innovation Council (BCIC). By supporting evidence-based planning and decision-making, innovation, and technology transfer, the RIC portfolio aims to improve the economic climate of rural communities. The RIC’s research agenda is based on regional priorities and partnerships with local and regional organizations and businesses.
This report’s 2011 to 2017 reporting period marks the first six years of deliverables supported by the current Regional Innovation Chair, Dr. Terri MacDonald. George Penfold held the RIC position from 2006 to 2011. The RIC also directs the research and capacity building efforts of the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) which was established in July 2011 (upon the hiring of Dr. Terri MacDonald) with the mandate to support evidence-based decision-making in the Columbia Basin-Boundary region through the provision of information, applied research, and related outreach and extension. The RDI is built on an 8-year partnership agreement between Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and Selkirk College with CBT providing core funding and Selkirk College contributing infrastructure and operational support, including the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (RIC).