Up to $300,000 for B.C. innovation projects in natural resources and applied sciences

3 min
May 1, 2024 8:00:00 AM

The Ignite grant is awarded to teams of industry and academia solving real world problems.

Applications are now open for Innovate BC’s Ignite program, which awards up to $300,000 to fund B.C.-based research and development projects that are creating game-changing innovations in the areas of natural resources, engineering and applied sciences.

The funding is awarded to teams composed of academia and industry who come together to solve a significant challenge that British Columbians face. Previous winning projects have ranged from cleantech, energy, mining, forestry, agriculture, and beyond. The Ignite program supports the Province’s Stronger BC Economic Plan by providing local businesses with the support needed to add value to industries, create new jobs and growth throughout B.C.’s economy.

“Through Ignite, partnerships between companies and academic researchers will grow, leading to new solutions that will improve the quality of life for British Columbians, while strengthening B.C.’s diverse economy,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation. “B.C. has been following our Industrial Blueprint and taking action to drive new investment, create new jobs and seize new opportunities in growing clean energy and sustainable industries.”

Since the program started in 2016, 41 projects have been funded by a combined $10.7 million, and have garnered more than $239 million in follow-on investments and awards, and 21 projects have been completed to date generating $5.4 million in revenue. To date, more than 288 academic and industry jobs have been created or maintained through this program.

“Our province is home to a robust community of innovators, researchers, and developing talent who are working to realize changemaking ideas that drive progress and create positive impact for British Columbians, addressing key issues like climate change and sustainable operations,” said Peter Cowan, President + CEO of Innovate BC. “The Ignite program provides critical funding to high potential projects that can help nurture those pioneering ideas into transformative solutions that redefine our future.”

Last year, Dr. Karolina Valente of VoxCell BioInnovation Inc. and Dr. Alexandre Brolo of the University of Victoria were awarded $300,000 for their life sciences and advanced health project. They 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. 

Other notable former winning projects include Flash Forest and the University of British Columbia’s drone technology – which plants trees at ten times the normal rate while significantly increasing accuracy, safety, and cost savings in the reforestation industry – and Browns Bay Packing Company Ltd. and the University of Northern British Columbia who are formulating a renewable and fully biodegradable packaging solution to replace traditional plastics.

Innovate BC is thrilled to support the commercialization of novel innovations through Ignite. Learn more about past winners here.

Applications are open until July 8, 2024 at 11:59 PM PDT. Learn more and apply here.

Want to know how to make your application stand out? Join us for an info session on May 23. Register now.


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About Ignite

Launched in 2016, Ignite provides funding to accelerate commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences in B.C. Awards are up to $300,000 to B.C. industry and academic partnerships that are conducting research and development projects with the intent to commercialize. Past winners include fast-growing B.C. companies such as Aspect Biosystems, Terramera, Axine Water Technologies, and Performance Biofilaments.

About Innovate BC

A Crown Agency of British Columbia, Innovate BC works to foster innovation across the province and bolster the growth of the local economy through delivering a wide range of programs that help companies start and scale, access talent and encourage technology development, commercialization, and adoption. Innovate BC also harnesses crucial data collection and research, and works to forge strategic industry and community partnerships that create more opportunities for B.C. innovators.