Federal and provincial governments invest $7.5 million in B.C. cleantech

The funding supports the launch of Foresight Canada’s BC Net Zero Innovation Network to scale natural resources tech.

Announcing the launch of the British Columbia Net Zero Innovation Network, from left to right: Adam Walker, MLA Parksville-Quallicum; Parm Bains, member of parliament for Steveston-Richmond East; Jeannette Jackson, CEO, Foresight Canada; Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO, Innovate BC.

More made-in-B.C. green technologies are coming soon. Foresight Canada, alongside the federal and provincial governments, announced today the launch of new cleantech innovation hubs in the province. The hubs, linked as part of Foresight’s BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN), aim to accelerate the adoption and scaling of industrial tech solutions in response to climate change and an interest in growing economic competitiveness in the global cleantech market.

Natural resource focus: The network will include four hubs, the first two of which will be in the province’s mining and forestry sectors. The third hub will focus on Metro Vancouver’s water systems, and the fourth will be announced in the spring of 2023. Foresight, a non-profit focused on accelerating cleantech across the country, first began this work in 2019 with the Core Cleantech Cluster initiative. Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada, told Vancouver Tech Journal about the data-driven process involved in picking sectors: “We did hundreds of roundtables, thousands of surveys, and also thought about which sectors B.C. had an edge in.” she said.

Attracting talent and investment: PacifiCan, the dedicated federal economic development partner for British Columbia, invested $5.2 million into BCNZIN, while the provincial government invested $2.3 million via its Innovative Clean Energy fund. Both governments have an eye on future returns in the form of jobs, sector investment, and global competitiveness.

[BCNZIN] will help B.C.’s cleantech innovators access new markets, and attract world-class talent to British Columbia,” said Parm Bains, member of parliament for Steveston-Richmond East. “This project is expected to spur growth for B.C. cleantech, creating 240 new jobs and attracting $280 million in sector investment.”

Foresight as implementation partner: The hub will follow Foresight Canada’s model of multi-stakeholder collaboration, including industry, investors, government, academia, and Indigenous partners. “This is a powerful model of ecosystem development,” said Jackson. “We expect to be able to run projects that fast-track the development and adoption of cleantech solutions, while dramatically reducing emissions across key industries, and maximizing industry competitiveness.” Jackson added that each hub will have its own tailored programming focused on identifying gaps and finding solutions to suit the needs of the ecosystem.

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