Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group and the University of British Columbia have formed a research partnership that will allow the two organizations to collaborate in developing technology and innovative solutions for the mining tire industry.
In the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), both parties agree to pursue research and innovation as part of a partnership that matches expertise from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering with the innovation goals of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group.
“We wanted to harness the knowledge and ideas of our team members to advance innovation, and through this partnership with UBC, we now have access to the skills, knowledge and facilities that we didn’t have prior,” says Dan Allan, senior vice-president, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group. “Research like this fuels the innovation that takes great ideas forward.”
The MOU lays out an initial three-year term of collaboration on mutually beneficial areas of research as well as Kal Tire’s significant investment in the partnership. Individual researchers will submit their project ideas for consideration to a small committee that represents both Kal Tire and UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering. The projects may include everything from robotics and metallurgical design to environmentally-responsible ways to use recycled tire crumb.
“As a campus committed to innovation, we look forward to bringing our research expertise to bear in this exciting new partnership,” says Deborah Buszard, deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We see this partnership as another key step in our goal of helping to advance economic development opportunities in our region.”
Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group has been servicing mine sites for more than 40 years in Canada, and now provides service to more than 150 mine sites across five continents. The company, based in Vernon, BC, takes pride in its pioneering approach to providing mining tire solutions, and in its ability to bring new technology and processes to mine sites around the world. In fact, Allan says, customers demand it.
“Being in so many different countries and geographies has really brought the need to innovate to the surface, and we’re glad that at the same time, we can support local education and opportunities,” says Allan. “In 2015, we opened an Innovation Centre in Vernon to begin to develop some ideas brought forward by our team members—this partnership is the next evolution of that.”
The School of Engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus was established in 2005 and currently has more than 50 faculty members and 230 graduate students. The school has considerable expertise in a number of areas, including materials and manufacturing, infrastructure planning, sensor technology and power systems, and automation.