Innovate BC Awards over $1M to Four BC R&D Projects

2 min
Jun 17, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Innovate BC announced $1,075,000 awarded to four BC research and development projects. The funding, through Innovate BC’s Ignite program, is accelerating the commercialization of the following biotech, cleantech, mining and robotics projects.

3D bioprinting personalized brain tissue models 

Using 3D bioprinting, this project is producing next generation brain organoids. These organoids can be used as a tool for screening potential drugs to treat neurological diseases and disorders as well as for understanding how COVID-19 infection affects the function of neural tissue.

Partners: Dr. Katherine Elvira, University of Victoria; Dr. Stephanie Willerth, Axolotl Biosciences

Award: $175,000

High-power density fuel cells for heavy duty zero emission vehicles

This project is supporting development of the next generation of cost-effective, high-power density fuel cell membrane electrode assembly for heavy duty zero emission vehicles.

Partners: Dr. Majid Bahrami, Simon Fraser University; Dr. Erik Kjeang, Simon Fraser University, Shanna Knights, Ballard Power Systems.

Award: $300,000

Transcritical CO2 Rock Pulverization

This project is developing a rock comminution processing system that deploys a first-of-a-kind approach in comminution. It aims to improve efficiency, GHG reductions, achieve operational simplicity and minimize environmental impact.

Partners: Dr. Bern Klein, University of British Columbia; Chuck Lee, Rockburst Technologies Inc.; Richard MacKellar, Chrysalix Venture Capital Fund

Award: $300,000

Contact-based inspection using tethered flying robots

Traditional industrial asset inspection methods are unsafe, expensive and time consuming. This project is developing tethered flying robots for contact-based inspection to eliminate health hazards and risks to human operators and to reduce time and cost of inspection.

Partners: Dr. Shahriar Mirabbasi, University of British Columbia; Dr. Reza Tavakoli, Avestec Technologies Inc.; Dr. Pouya Kamalinejad, Avestec Technologies Inc.

Award: $300,000

Each year Innovate BC’s Ignite program selects 6-8 research projects in the natural resources and applied sciences, awarding up to $300,000 per project. To date it has funded 34 projects for a total value of $8.5M.

The next round of Ignite applications is open until June 30, 2021. Learn more and apply here.


Raghwa Gopal, President + CEO, Innovate BC

“We’re so excited to be able to help bring these novel innovations to market. We can’t wait to see how these projects develop over the next few years.”

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation

“With collaboration at the forefront, these teams are producing technologies that will help protect the environment, stimulate the economy, and improve health and safety for people throughout B.C. The Ignite Awards showcase the innovation and achievement of the phenomenal people that continue to drive B.C.’s tech sector forward.”