Design Engineering

Innovate BC awards $1.3M to B.C.-based R&D projects

By DE Staff   


Provincial Crown Agency’s Ignite program designed to help commercialize natural resource and applied science projects.

At a recent awards ceremony in Vancouver, Innovate BC awarded $1.365M to five B.C. R&D projects in natural resources and applied sciences. Specifically, this year’s funding, through Innovate BC’s Ignite program, aims to accelerate commercialization of clean technology, advanced materials and manufacturing, and life science projects.

The successful 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 implemented by a group of academic and industry members.

A2O Advanced Materials Inc. and Dr. Laurel Schafer of the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a project to develop a proprietary bonding technology that uniquely combines the properties of adhesion, self-healing, and regeneration to enable the manufacture of long-lasting coatings and adhesives for large-scale applications in the marine industry. This innovative material improves underwater marine performance and addresses the costly environmental and health impacts of corrosion and bio-fouling. Awarded: $300,000.

VoxCell BioInnovation Inc. and Dr. Alexandre Brolo of the University of Victoria are collaborating to develop fully vascularized, human-like cancer tissue models by combining a custom high-resolution 3D bioprinter, advanced vascularized software, and proprietary bioinks to accelerate the development of life-saving anti-cancer drugs and decrease the current 95% drug failure rate. Awarded: $300,000


Kite Company Creator Limited and Dr. Behraad Bahreyni of Simon Fraser University are collaborating on a project to develop aluminum smelting pot sensor technology that seeks to increase the output of aluminum produced based on existing inputs, decrease electricity consumption, and provide both environmental and safety benefits in one of the world’s most energy intensive processes. Awarded: $300,000

RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. and Dr. Mohsen Akbari of the University of Victoria are collaborating on a project to develop smart microcarriers for high-density culture of therapeutic cells, without the use of enzymes. This approach protects cells from enzymatic damage and dramatically cuts down the costs associated with the production of cells for cell therapy, research, and production of cultivated meat. Awarded: $165,000

Rapidia Tech Inc. and Dr. Adam Clare of the University of British Columbia are collaborating on a project to develop corrosion and wear-resistant materials for Rapidia’s metal 3D printing system. This approach will allow for more efficient part designs, reduce material waste and manufacturing facility footprints for faster product development in resource industries like mining and oil and gas. Awarded: $300,000

Each year, Innovate BC’s Ignite program selects research projects in the natural resources and applied sciences, awarding up to $300,000 per project. To date it has funded 46 projects for a total value of $12M. The Ignite Program is funded by the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund, which was established by the Province of British Columbia.


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