Teck recently announced its newest project with British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) that will further develop the implementation of copper in healthcare. 

Through a $1.75 million contribution from Teck, BCIT will open the new Teck Copper Innovation Hub, a facility dedicated to the research and development of health devices with copper implementations. 

“Copper’s unique antimicrobial properties make it perfect for use in health care, making high-touch surfaces and medical devices like prosthetics safer,” said Teck CEO Jonathan Price. 

“The new Teck Copper Innovation Hub will explore innovative new ways to use antimicrobial copper to enhance safety for patients and health care professionals and we applaud BCIT for advancing this important work.”

The Innovation Hub will utilize 3D printing to produce healthcare devices composed of copper and composites. There will also be a focus on real-life applications of copper for health and safety purposes. 

“The Teck Copper Innovation Hub combines the state-of-the-art research capabilities of BCIT Applied Research with the industry expertise of Teck to drive innovation across a growing interdisciplinary field,” said BCIT Interim President Paul McCullough.

“This partnership amplifies the collaborative strength of our organizations and establishes a new hands-on learning environment that will have meaningful impact in the healthcare field and beyond.”

Sample copper material for healthcare technology. Photo/Teck

The innovation hub comes as a new addition to the line up of projects by Teck’s Copper & Health program. The program has installed copper surfaces in a number of healthcare facilities, including Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital, on public transit in partnership with TransLink and Toronto Transit Commission, in attractions including Science World and Royal Ontario Museum, and in post-secondary institutions through partnerships with BCIT, SFU, and UBC. 

Last year, Teck sponsored the first ever copper-outfitted daycare in Canada. The Laugh and Learn daycare in Logan Lake features 150 antimicrobial copper surfaces throughout the facility including; door handles, toilet seats, coat hooks, countertops, and washroom latches. 

“A cornerstone of Teck is innovation,” said Matt Parrilla, general manager for Teck Highland Valley Copper Operations.

“What we’re really excited about here is this is the first daycare in Canada using antimicrobial properties of copper on high traffic and high touch surfaces. That is part of innovation in practice. We are making it safer for the kids and other members of the community.”

For more information about the role of antimicrobial copper, the Copper & Health program, and other examples of copper in action, please visit www.coppersaveslives.com.