Okanagan College has received a $1.75 million grant over five years to fund a new BC Beverage Technology Access Centre headquartered in Penticton.
The centre will provide testing, business services and applied research assistance to the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries in the Okanagan region as well as throughout the province.
“This is very exciting for the industries and for Okanagan College,” OC president Jim Hamilton said. “The industry support for the proposal we developed has been phenomenal, and the input that organizations, businesses and individuals provided was invaluable.”
Okanagan College research showed that within its catchment area, there are 19 craft cideries, 219 wineries, 16 craft distilleries and 24 craft breweries.
The technology access centre will provide analytical and sensory services to support the growing economic sector, and is only the second TAC to be put in place in B.C., the first being at Camosun College. It will receive $350,000 annually for the next five years and then will be eligible to re-apply.
The aim is to provide services that will help small and medium sized businesses in the field grow.
Penticton’s campus was chosen after a lengthy process drawing applications from around the country. Renovation work is already underway at the college, and they hope to begin operations in the fall.
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