How KPU is Helping during COVID-19

KPU’s Labs

  • The applied genomics / bio-innovation laboratory at KPU’ Surrey Campus has a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine and a trained technician.  They can do hundreds of COVID-19 tests, and the capabilities have already been shared with BC CDC.
  • The Institute for Sustainable Horticulture at KPU’s Langley Campus is able to lend molecular equipment and second highly qualified research personnel for COVID-19 research.
  • Various faculty and staff gathered and boxed up supplies from Surrey, Langley, and Richmond campuses, to donate PPE and disinfectants to VGH & St. Paul's and Operation Protect (  This involved the organization and collection of over $9000 in lab supplies, including up to $5000 worth of gloves, over $1800 in N95 masks, plus several additional types of face shields, lab coats, and hand sanitizers and was coordinated by the Faculty of Science.

KPU’s Wilson School of Design

  • Vancouver Coastal Health has requested 1,000 3-D printed surgical mask straps. The Wilson School of Design, supported by the Office of Research Services, is helping to respond to this time-sensitive challenge.  Students 3D print Ear-Savers for PPE.
  • Check our KPU’s Wilson School of Design Instagram feature with inspiring ‘Home offices.’  This was a campaign asking our faculty and students to share how they are coping with the transition to online learning. 
  • A student in the Tech Apparel program developed medical scrubs for physicians that are functional, comfortable, and anti-microbial.  She is investigating next steps for their use.
  • At the Wilson School of Design, Dr. Victor Martinez has worked collaboratively with internal and external colleagues, including WorkSafeBC, to design and prototype adjustable face shields.
  • A team effort allowed for the forwarding of fabric donations, from CYC Design Corp (Wings & Horns/Reigning Champ), to Royal Columbian Hospital for a home sewing network for gowns.  At the Wilson School of Design, in Richmond, we are working on prototypes of face masks, and we have assessed our sewing lab capacity for gowns.
  • Covid-19 Mask Directory: Many of our grads and students have been producing non-medical masks.  We are in the process of compiling a directory with contact details for the community, as they look for reliable sources where to purchase masks.
  • For overall apparel and gear needs, see the BC Apparel and Gear Association.

KPU and Food Security

  • The Sustainable Agriculture program, in Richmond, is working with the Richmond Food Bank to adjust their cropping plan to increase their contribution to the Food Bank and focus on growing food that suits ongoing needs.  In addition, the Sustainable Agriculture team will be setting up a food pick-up program for KPU students, many of whom have lost their jobs during COVID-19.  The Kwantlen St. Market is anticipating higher needs over the next many months, so the team will be continuing to support the community to ensure there is local, healthy produce available, and support the Farmer’s Market which is an important outlet for local farmers.
  • The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems based out of KPU’s Richmond campus is conducting survey research on the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in food systems from the consumer’s perspective.  The study aims to gain insights on food access, food purchasing and consumption behaviors, perception and concerns of BC consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This research will contribute to the on-going discussion on the importance / urgency of building resilient regional food systems.
  • Horticulture Instructional Associates at KPU Langley have supplied the Gateway of Hope with 3-6 boxes of fresh produce grown in the School of Horticulture greenhouses.  Next, donations will go to the Langley Food Bank.

KPU’s Office of Research Services (ORS)

  • KPU’s Research Ethics Board will fast-track reviews of projects supporting COVID-19 research, to a one-week turn-around, to help facilitate time-sensitive work.
  • The Office of Research Services (ORS) is aggregating relevant research and innovation opportunities on a dedicated web page.  

KPU’s SurreyCityLab and Arts Practicum

  • This fall, SurreyCityLab, KPU’s Criminology Honours course, and the Arts Practicum course have the potential to tie in with research related to COVID-19.  The current Surrey CityLab course, through Policy Studies, has already created a report on Housing issues.