Vancouver—The federal government is making a big bet on B.C. innovation.
The federal Innovation Minister, Navdeep Bains, was in Vancouver from Mar. 13 to 15 to observe and promote the province’s growing tech economy.
The Minister also made a series of announcements on major federal investments, including a $14.8 million investment in 12 B.C. SMEs
This funding is part the Western Innovation Initiative (WINN), a program that provides $100 million in repayable contributions to SMEs in Western Canada, and is expected to create 240 jobs.
The following companies are receiving funds from WINN:
- AbCellera Biologics Inc: A process for accelerating the validation of antibodies. $1,750,000
- Axine Water Technologies Inc: An electrochemical system for treating ammonia contaminated wastewater. $1,000,000
- G-PAK Technology Inc: Bio-based fully compostable single-serve coffee pods. $2,500,000
- HTEC Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation: Canada’s first retail hydrogen fueling station in British Columbia. $600,000
- Jostle Corporation: Intranet platform with cloud fileshares. $486,413
- Loop Energy Inc: eFlow fuel stack technology and power modules. $760,000
- Nanozen Industries Inc: A particulate matter sensor to measure airborne particles to 1 micron. $300,000
- Quadrogen Power Systems: Landfill biogas clean up. $1,100,000
- Quester Tangent Corporation: Ethernet vehicle switches specifically for passenger rail vehicles. $647,500
- Saltworks Technologies: A desalination system. $3,500,000
- SemiosBIO Technologies Inc: An automated precision farming system for cherry orchards. $500,000
- Terramera Inc: A biopesticide technology for insect control. $1,695,000
As part of Canada’s national innovation strategy, an additional $20 million has been earmarked to support pre-commercial clean energy projects in B.C. The province will provide matching funds, for a total of $40 million.
$17.6 million in federal funds has also been committed to Urthecast, a space technologies company, to aid in the development of next-generation space and ground processing systems. This funding is a part of the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.
“This is Canada’s time. And this is British Columbia’s time. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to cement Canada’s place as a global centre for innovation,” said Baines.
Earlier this week, federal funds were also announced for two B.C. cleantech projects:
- A $10-million contribution to the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation—a Burnaby-based joint venture with Germany’s Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company.
- A $13-million contribution to Canfor Pulp Products Inc., a global producer of pulp and paper products and one of North America’s largest green energy producers