Meet the Round 5 BC Fast Awardees

9 min read
December 4, 2023

The BC Fast Pilot program helps regional small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology in real-world conditions. The program allows B.C. technology companies to demonstrate the impact of their product, measure the value of their solution, and encourage customer adoption. 

Since the program started in 2019, and including this most recent group of awardees, $9.9M has been invested into 75 B.C. pilot demonstrations.

This initiative is delivered in partnership between Innovate BC and NRC IRAP

Meet the latest round BC Fast awardees.

MicrosoftTeams-image (3)

4AG Robotics's Technology


4AG Robotics has developed, demonstrated, and deployed a vision-guided robotic system for harvesting, processing, and packing fresh mushrooms. In this pilot, 4AG Robotics will demonstrate sustained harvesting in the farm environment with an automated mechanical system design that is simple and cost-effective for harvesting, trimming, packaging, labeling, and preparation for shipping with a reasonable return on investment and is operated and maintained by farm personnel with minimal technical support. 


"Innovate BC's grant capital is a pivotal milestone in our journey at 4AG. We are dedicated to empowering mushroom producers to grow sustainably through innovative robotic solutions, and this funding is a testament to the faith placed in our mission. Our entire team, based in Salmon Arm BC, is incredibly grateful for the unwavering support of Innovate BC. Together, we are making strides towards a greener and more efficient future for agriculture." - Sean O'Connor, CEO, 4AG Robotics

Pilot Region: Lower Mainland


Aerometrix Peter Sherk pilot engineerPeter Sherk, Electronics Engineer, Aerometrix Services Inc.

Aerometrix Services Inc. has developed GasMap©, a rapid and sensitive small drone-based laser spectrometer system for point-source and site-scale detection and quantification of methane emission sources, including landfills, gas plants, pipelines, feedlots, etc. 

“Although the climate effects of all Greenhouse Gases are important, the reduction in global methane emissions can lead to the largest and fastest changes on a decadal time scale. Aerometrix is pioneering the use of small aerial vehicles with ultra-sensitive laser sensors to detect and quantify the locations of methane emissions, for example, leaks from natural gas facilities, landfills and feedlots. Our fast, safe and quantitative measurements of methane are critical to verified reductions in emissions." - Peter Sherk, Electronics Engineer, Aerometrix Services

Pilot Region: Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria, Okanagan Valley  


BQE Water Inc. will be testing and validating their proprietary water treatment technology at pilot scale to remove thiosalts from waste waters generated during mining and metallurgical processing of nickel/cobalt and copper ores. 

Pilot Region: Nunavik, Quebec*

*As part of the BC Fast Pilot program, pilot demonstrations that occur outside of B.C. must include a B.C.-based company, and demonstrate benefits to B.C.  


head shot - 8 Sept 23 ph03Jesse Knight, Business Development & Sustainability, Browns Bay Packing Company Ltd.

Browns Bay Packing Company Ltd. will provide a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam EPS, and paper based thermal inserts. They will transition Styrofoam products to curbside recyclable alternatives immediately and introduce plant based biodegradable bioplastic material that will create cost efficient and sustainable thermal packaging.


“We appreciate and credit Innovate BC for helping us minimize risks and implement sustainable packaging solutions for thermal packaging. We are proud to be a BC based company and poised to become a global leader in sustainable thermal packaging, contributing to our part in waste management and climate change.” - Jesse Knight, Business Development & Sustainability


Pilot Region: Lower Mainland


P1211728Maddie Aliasl, CTO, CanDry Technologies Inc.

CanDry Technologies Inc. developed a novel low-temperature energy-efficient dehydration technology. Its performance was validated by using several fruits in an in-house pilot-scale prototype with a capacity of 15 kg/cycle. This pilot will validate if the technology is applicable to the berry market by dehydrating the pilot partner’s berry products, with the use of the firm’s pilot-scale prototype. 


“In the realm of startup companies, building trust with industrial partners is often one of the most challenging tasks. However, Innovate BC has significantly eased this process by providing access to the BC Fast Pilot Program. This initiative is strategically designed to mitigate collaboration risks for both technology providers and customers, fostering an environment of trust and cooperation. CanDry Technologies has effectively leveraged this program on two occasions, resulting in strong prospective clients for our commercial machine sales. This valuable platform not only facilitates collaboration but also opens doors to substantial business opportunities, underlining its importance in our journey of innovation and commercialization.” - Hamid Rezaei, Ph.D., R&D Director, CanDry Technologies Inc.

Pilot Region: Lower Mainland  



Catch Data Ltd. is trialing systems for biosecurity of ports and conservation locations from rodent infestations with Parks Canada. The main objective is to showcase biosecurity for ports globally and provide an alternative to environmentally damaging poisons. 


Pilot Region: Northern Region (Skidegate-Haida Gwaii) 



Crush Dynamics R&D Team Photo 20231115Crush Dynamics Inc. R&D Team

Crush Dynamics Inc. will collaborate with Purdy’s to create a powdered version of its puree product, tailored to meet production, and finished product requirements for widespread use in chocolate applications. 


“We are honoured to receive this support from Innovate BC.  As a food technology innovator focused on upcycling, our mission is to help the world do better with the food it produces.  We look forward to working with Innovate BC and our partners in the food industry to further this mission.” Kirk Moir, CEO, Crush Dynamics Inc.

Pilot Region: Lower Mainland  



IMG_3635L to R: Owen Miller, President & Co-Founder, Deadwood Innovations Ltd.; John Paul Wenger, CEO, Nak’azdli Development Corporation

Deadwood Innovations Ltd., in partnership with Nak’azdli Development Corporation, will be proving their proprietary wood densification process to reclaim low quality timber from beetles and fire damaged stands and low-grade lumber, which will be transformed into value-added and engineered wood products.  


“Determining product-market fit and securing customers is commonly one of the most challenging objectives of a start-up. The BC Fast Pilot program unlocks critical de-risking resources for our partnership, greatly increasing the likelihood of a smoother transition to commercialization. Our success with the Innovate BC and National Research Council collaboration demonstrates that exciting innovations are happening in northern and rural BC, and go-to-market supports are available for rural founders.” - Owen Miller, President & Co-Founder, Deadwood Innovations Ltd

Pilot Region: Central Interior  


P1010162Demizine Technology Inc. Team

Demizine Technology Inc.’s product WaterPlantir creates instant wastewater treatment at a residential scale. Their pilot aims to service the Canadian First Nations communities and demonstrate their biological treatment system can operate in the Canadian climate with minimal maintenance in a micro footprint that is so small (0.25 cubic m3) it can be fitted in exterior or interior settings. Interior is very key for northern communities where harsh weather interferes with the reliability of most septic solutions. The product can also be transported to any site with minimal equipment (just a skidoo or ATV), requires no excavation, and can be set up to operate in just hours.

 "The fast pilot has been really helpful to give us a real-world insights and client to work with. As a company we are mostly focused on export sales to the USA, which is and always will be a biggest market, yet we would like to work with and serve our local community in Canada. The Fast Pilot, and our First Nation partner, really has forced us to focus on the deployment opportunities and concerns for our built environment product, WaterPlantir, here at home. We are very grateful and appreciative of our fast pilot support and know that it has helped us to address and do our part provide options to the First Nations, and create a climate adaptive product that can be utilized for all kinds of mobile infrastructure, emergency shelter, and resiliency," Cierra Moffat, President,  Demizine Technology Inc.

Pilot Region: Central Interior (Hixon) 


Unknown-2Ensemble Scientific's Technology

Ensemble Scientific is piloting a precision irrigation support system tailored to help farmers collect data and make actionable irrigation decisions faster and more efficiently than ever before. Their cloud and sensor technology is focused on giving farmers the ability to affordably deploy technology and automation that integrates with existing practices to save time, money, and drive precise water usage. Their vision and commitment is to provide a dependable tool that simplifies irrigation management for uniform crop outcomes and improved water use efficiency.


“The BC Fast Pilot program has given us a real opportunity to meet farmers where they work and has given us a chance to connect our technical abilities and solutions-driven focus with the day-to-day realities of current irrigation needs. Partnering with producers and stakeholders who are willing to listen to and implement our vision for automated solutions in precision irrigation has been invaluable for our teams.” - Mark Johnson, President, Ensemble Scientific


Pilot Region: Okanagan Valley and Fraser Valley 


Unknown-1-2L to R: George Martinez, CEO, Farment Bio Solutions Ltd.; Ralph Lett, CTO, Farment Bio Solutions Ltd.; Martin Rapela, COO, Farment Bio Solutions Ltd. 

Farment Bio Solutions Ltd.’s pilot project will demonstrate the feasibility of the Farment processing and fermentation system to generate renewable natural gas (RNG) and fertilizer from digestate waste in an industrial-scale operation. 


"It’s been a real pleasure to work with Innovate BC and IRAP. The money that has been provided has been helpful in helping out our business figure out rates and quantity’s of fertilizer regarding our distribution." Ralph Lett, CTO, Farment Bio Solutions


Pilot Region: Lower Mainland



Team with logo - smaller

Industrial Plankton Inc. Team

Industrial Plankton Inc.’s pilot will prove the performance their new seaweed bioreactors (SBRs) in a commercial setting, demonstrating the production capabilities of the system when deployed in the ocean.

"Seaweed production has clear benefits for climate change/ocean health, and North America has a massive coastline for seaweed production.  But, an industry needs a reliable source of seed, which often limits the growth of new aquaculture industries.  With support from Innovate BC we are removing that hurdle, and accelerating the growth of the seaweed sector in North America." - Robert Roulston, Founder + CEO, Industrial Plankton


Pilot Region: Central/North Island 




Sanad Aridah CTO and Trevor Burgess

L to R: Sanad Aridah, CTO, VoltSafe Inc.; Trevor Burgess, Co-Founder & CEO, VoltSafe Inc.


VoltSafe Inc. introduces a new standard for electrical safety, ease of use, and IoT-capabilities for marinas. This project pilots a retrofit kit that is easily adopted by marinas to improve experience and energy management capabilities.


"We're elated to receive a BC Fast Pilot Grant from Innovate BC and NRC IRAP to advance our VoltSafe Marine shore power pedestal & marina smart management software. Hardware is hard and we applaud Innovate BC for believing in Canadian deep tech hardware companies like VoltSafe Inc. This funding will help us more elaborately evaluate the performance and usability in real-world operational scenarios for our marine shore power solution(s). Gathering real-time feedback and insights is valuable in further refining our award-winning marine technology and individual feature sets before broader implementation across North America in 2024 and subsequently worldwide.” - Trevor Burgess, Co-Founder & CEO, VoltSafe Inc.


Pilot Region: Sunshine Coast



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