Innovate BC invests $2.3M into projects spanning cleantech, mining and forestry

The investments are the latest by the crown agency’s Ignite program, which has so far contributed nearly $11 million into 40-plus local R&D enterprises.

All Ignite award recipients on September 29, 2022 at Science World

Crown agency Innovate BC has awarded $2.3 million to eight B.C.-based research and development projects as part of its Ignite program.

The funding was announced last week during an awards ceremony at Science World in Vancouver. The goal of Ignite is to commercialize research, and this year’s funding recipients are focused on innovation in biotech, cleantech, mining, agriculture, and forestry. Out of the eight projects that successfully secured funding, the first seven listed below received $300,000 and the final one received $225,000.

Daanaa Resolution and Dr. Shahriar Mirabbasi of the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a project to advance Daanaa’s chip-based wireless power transfer technology in solar panels.

Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation (HTEC) is working with Dr. Gordon McTaggart-Cowan of Simon Fraser University to support hydrogen in becoming a core element of the transportation industry.

Minpraxis Solutions and Dr. Bern Klein of the University of British Columbia are developing a rock compression tester that can drastically improve the quality and quantity of rock strength data that are generated for mine design, advanced exploration, production planning, and operational control.

NanoVation Therapeutics and Dr. Eric Jan of the University of British Columbia are working on a project to advance RNA vaccine stability and production.

Terramera and Dr. Sean Smukler of the University of British Columbia are developing new approaches to measuring soil carbon across agricultural landscapes.

Flash Forest and Dr. John Innes of the University of British Columbia are improving reforestation, harnessing machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Browns Bay Packing Company and Dr. Hossein Kazemian of the University of Northern British Columbia are formulating a renewable and fully biodegradable hybrid packaging solution.

Softree Technical Systems and Dr. Yves Lucet from the University of British Columbia Okanagan are working on a project to advance Softree’s vertical alignment optimization technology which builds easy-to-use civil engineering and design software.

According to Innovate BC, the projects were selected based on their promising commercial and technical viability as well as their ability to be market-ready within three years. To be considered, projects must also address an industry problem with the potential for significant benefit to British Columbia, and be realized by a group of academic and industry members.

“It’s so thrilling to see these incredible innovations in natural resources and applied sciences being developed right here in British Columbia,” said Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC, in a statement. “In the past eight years, Innovate BC has invested over $10 million in market-driven research that is creating jobs, transforming industries, and pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

To date, Innovate BC’s Ignite program has funded 41 projects for a total value of $10.7 million.

Innovation minister Ravi Kahlon, whose ministry Innovate BC reports to, said the projects are key to B.C.’s economic plan. “The commercialization of these projects through Innovate BC’s Ignite program will create jobs and lead to new investment opportunities for British Columbian companies,” he shared. “I want to congratulate today’s winners and look forward to seeing their initiatives help make B.C. a more sustainable province.”

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