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Applications Open for Innovate BC's Ignite Program to Fund Local R&D Projects

Applications Open for Innovate BC's Ignite Program to Fund Local R&D Projects

Technology Sector Program

Grants of up to $300,000 are available to BC initiatives in cleantech, energy, mining, agriculture.

Innovate BC has opened applications to its Ignite program, which grants up to $300,000 CAD to fund research and development (R&D) projects in British Columbia (BC).

Ignite grants are available to teams from academia and industry that are developing new technologies in BC to solve an industry problem in natural resources, engineering, or applied sciences. 

Applications are set to close on July 8.

Past winners include cleantech, energy, mining, forestry, and agriculture projects by BC firms like Aspect Biosystems, Axine Water Technologies, Performance Biofilaments, and Terramera. 

Applications for the latest group of Ignite grants are set to close on July 8 at 11:59 pm.

Since the Ignite program was launched in 2016, it has invested a cumulative $10.7 million across 41 R&D projects, 21 of which have been completed to date. Innovate BC claims that these initiatives have collectively garnered more than $239 million in follow-on investments and awards, and the program has created or maintained more than 288 total jobs.

Last year, Karolina Valente, founder and CEO of Victoria-based VoxCell BioInnovation, and University of Victoria associate professor Alexandre Brolo received $300,000 for their life sciences and advanced health project. Valente and Brolo are developing “human-like” cancer tissue models using a custom 3D bioprinter, advanced software, and proprietary bio-inks to help hasten the development and decrease the failure rate of anti-cancer drugs.

Another previous winner is Toronto’s Flash Forest and the University of BC for their project to develop drone technology to plant trees more quickly than standard methods allow and boost accuracy, efficiency, and safety in the reforestation industry.

To be eligible for Ignite grants, among other considerations, projects must have strong market potential and a clear research and commercialization plan that involves bringing the tech to market within three years. They also must secure two dollars of matching funds for every dollar from Ignite.

Innovate BC is a Crown agency that provides programming and funding to small- and medium-sized businesses across BC. It is supported by both the BC government and the Government of Canada through its regional development agency, PacifiCan. Earlier this year, Innovate BC hired intellectual property expert Peter Cowan as its next president and CEO.

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