Research + Development Grants

Need help to commercialize your research? Eligible projects can get up to $300,000 for R&D.

Discover how you can commercialize research and accelerate go-to-market through our Ignite Program.

About the Program

You can commercialize your research and development projects sooner. Innovate BC’s funding helps you expedite your R&D and go-to-market faster. 

Each year we select 6-8 research projects to receive up to $300,000, injecting over $1M into market-changing innovations. That’s because each of our awards is tripled by a matching contribution.  

Program Guidelines

Get the full program guidelines below.

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Research and Development

Eligibility

  • Focus Area: projects must involve the areas of natural resources or applied sciences and must outline the business or industry problem you are solving.
  • Teams: projects must be a B.C.-based partnership made up of at least one academic partner (university researcher) and at least one industry partner (company or organization).
  • Matching: projects must secure matching funds from industry or government sources at a ratio of 2:1 matching dollars to Ignite dollars
  • Timing: projects must plan to go to market within a 3-year timeframe.

Key Dates

  • Application deadline: June 30, 2021
  • Deadline for invited applicants to submit their full proposal: September 17, 2021 
  • Anticipated notice of decision: December 2021 
  • Anticipated start of funding: Early 2022 
Research and Development

Ready to Apply?

Apply Now

Stage 1: Review Panel

Sarah-Applebaum
Sarah Applebaum
Partner, Pangaea Ventures

Sarah Applebaum has almost a decade of VC and company building experience. She has cultivated expertise in building entrepreneurial teams, scaling early-stage ventures, and venture financing. Sarah holds a BSc from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Dr. Andrew Csinger
Dr. Andrew Csinger
Chair, Centre for Innovation in Mineral Resource Engineering

Dr. Csinger is a seasoned technology entrepreneur who actively pursues university technology transfer opportunities and industry-academic research collaborations. His work on AI has been published  around the world. Dr. Csinger received his PhD and MSc Degrees in Computer Science from UBC.

lesley-esford
Dr. Lesley Esford
Principal, Bio2Strategy Ltd.

Dr. Esford has spent many years in academia, industry and government in positions supporting the growth of the life-sciences sector. She is a Kauffman Fellow, a Silicon Valley leadership program for VCs and innovators. Dr. Esford received her PhD in microbiology and immunology from UBC.

Evgueni-Loukipoudis
Evgueni Loukipoudis
Chief Technology Officer, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

Mr. Loukipoudis has led the digital transformation of several corporations. He has also been part of technology start-ups and participated in several open industry-wide and standardization initiatives. Evgueni holds an MSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Finlay-McNab
Finlay MacNab
Research Scientist, Materials Chemistry, Simon Fraser University

Mr. MacNab is an accomplished research scientist with a broad understanding of the BC innovation ecosystem. He has over a decade of experience as a research scientist building novel telecommunications, microelectronic, and photovoltaic devices. Finlay holds a Master’s degree from McGill University in materials chemistry and a graduate certificate in technology commercialization from SFU.

Dr.-Kausar-N-Samli
Dr. Kausar Samli
Executive | Expert | Consultant

Dr. Samli is an applied-technologies commercialization executive. His engagements span industries (including biotech, quantum computing, and blockchain), non-profit organizations, and academia. As a thought-leader, internationalist, and entrepreneur he leads and advises teams on strategy, technology commercialization, organizational development, and building ecosystems. 

Dr.-Sonia-Talwar
Dr. Sonia Talwar
Director – Pacific Division, Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada

Dr.Talwar has advanced science and technology processes to support decision-making and policy analysis in natural hazard risk, climate change and groundwater management for Natural Resources Canada since 1998. She holds a PhD in Geography from UBC with prior degrees from the University of Edinburgh and McGill University.

Stage 2: Technical Review

Applicants go through 2 stages of review. The second stage consists of review our panel as well as a technical assessment by NRC-IRAP.

NRC-IRAP

Award Winning Stories

Past Ignite Award Winners

To date the Ignite program has awarded funding to 34 projects for a total value of $8.5M

acuva-technologies-logo

Acuva Technologies

Acuva Technologies was created based on the research coming out of UBC, says President and CEO, Manoj Singh. Together, they have developed and commercialized high precision purifiers that require no maintenance and little power, making clean water accessible all over the world, even in developing nations. With the help of the Ignite program, Acuva Technologies is now the leader in this sector, their “Eco 1.5” being the first and only UV-LED drinking water purifier in the world to receive NSF/ANSI 55 Class B Certification.

Advanced-BioCarbon-3D-logo

Advanced BioCarbon 3D

The partnership is developing a new sustainable 3D-printing filament that is carbon negative, non-toxic and biodegradable, with engineer grade quality. Basically, they’re developing plastics that are made out of sustainable and unused wood and left for waste in forestry. The Ignite funding was awarded to help ABC3D and Selkirk College commercialize their research project within a three-year time frame.

artms

ARTMS Inc.

TRIUMF’s Dr. Paul Schaffer and ARTMS’ Dr. Michael Cross (with BC Cancer and Lawson Health Research Institute) are developing PET-isotopes and antibodies for non-invasive imaging of the immune system to improve management of cancer treatments. 

Aspect-biosystems

Aspect biosystems

Dr. Konrad Walus of UBC and industry partner Aspect Biosystems, a leader in clinical 3D bio-printing and human tissue engineering, are developing a turn-key manufacturing platform that will allow for the scaling up of tissue production in a robust and highly repeatable manner. The 3D printed tissues will be used to radically advance the future of drug development, regenerative medicine, and cellular therapies where animals are no longer needed for the discovery of new therapeutics, where doctors know how a patient will react to a drug before prescribing it, and where lifesaving transplant organs are created, not harvested.

axine-water-technologies

Axine Water Technologies

In 2017 Axine Water Technologies in partnership with research conducted by UVIC’s Dr. Frank Van Veggel was awarded $300,000 in Ignite funding to further develop a breakthrough electro-catalyst material to enhance ammonia removal in Axine’s industrial wastewater treatment systems.

delta-q-technologies

Delta-Q Technologies

Dr. Majid Bahrami, SFU, is working with Delta-Q Technologies and Terella Energy Systems to optimize the next-generation of cooling solutions for high-capacity battery chargers in electric vehicles. The use of sophisticated, graphite sheets will be the key innovation used to enhance thermal performance and decrease electromagnetic interference, making notable contributions to the advanced materials manufacturing and electric vehicle industries both in BC and abroad.

epic-ventures

Epic Ventures

A collaboration between the University of Victoria's Dr. Jeremy Wulff and Epic Ventures Inc. to commercialize their technology that will enable “impossible-to-bond” plastics to be permanently joined, facilitate the production of ultra-strong light weight fabrics for enhanced ballistic protection, and more.

excelsense-technologies

Excelsense Technologies

ExcelSense has achieved commercial success with their ToughEyeTM self-cleaning camera technology which enables operators to foresee clogs in critical points of production, reducing downtime by 60%, decreasing maintenance cost, and enhancing worker safety. 

human-in-motion-robotics-logo

Human in Motion Robotics Inc.

Dr. Edward Park (SFU) and industry partner Human in Motion Robotics Inc. are developing Exomotion - the next generation, wearable lower-limb exoskeleton that’s designed to get people out of wheelchairs and walking with full legged mobility and independence. 

ionomr

Ionomr Innovations Inc.

Dr. Stephen Holdcroft, SFU, is working with SFU Chemistry spin-off venture Ionomr Innovations to develop the most durable and versatile anion exchange membrane ever synthesized. Their novel and revolutionary membrane will benefit British Columbia by unlocking cost and performance barriers for many industrial cleantech solutions in energy and wastewater treatment.

Jetti Resources

Jetti Resources

Jetti Resources, a natural resources tech startup based in Vancouver, is leveraged funding to further develop a mineral extraction research and development project for the mining industry. The research will help build a sustainable and competitive mining industry and if applied at commercial scale, it could help reduce emissions and water use, while lowering costs for companies.

llama-zoo

Llama Zoo

UBC's Dr. Dominik Roeser, FP Innovations, and LlamaZOO Inc  are collaborating on a research project called TimberOps. The innovative platform will provide software that helps forestry experts reduce expensive and difficult field work.

nexe

Nexe Innovations

UBC’s Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, Dr. Zachary Hudson and NEXE Innovations’ Darren Footz teamed up to develop sustainable compostable coffee pods. They seek to improve the bioplastic formulation and optimize product shelf-life to retain the bold, fresh taste of brewed coffee.

Noram

Noram Engineering & Constructors Ltd.

NORAM Engineering and researchers from UBC reached a major milestone by proving the viability of making biofuels from wood. The liquid fuel, which has significantly lower carbon emissions than petroleum, is intended to be used for aircrafts. 

MarineLabs (1)

MarineLabs

Dr. Brad Buckham of UVIC and Marine IoT company MarineLabs are developing a compact, robust, cell-network connected ocean monitoring buoy called the mWaveWind. These high-tech monitoring buoys promise a more cost-effective and reliable solution compared to the existing legacy buoy systems being used globally.

Standard-Lithium

Standard Lithium

Dr. Jason Hein of UBC and industry partner Standard Lithium are developing a novel process, known as the SIFT technology, for recovering high purity lithium from waste brine using a unique crystallization process. The growing demand for high-grade lithium is being driven by the rapid adoption of both electric vehicles and solar, wind and tidal power systems to reduce environmental emissions. The SIFT technology will solve the significant supply, cost, and logistical problems facing the lithium mining and recovery industry globally.

Performance-BioFilaments

Performance BioFilaments

Dr. Jack Saddler, UBC, is working with Performance Biofilaments to incorporate nanocellulose products derived from wood pulp into high-tech, lightweight, composite thermoplastics for the automotive manufacturing and sporting goods markets. The pursuit of these non-traditional applications of wood cellulose will establish new markets and push the development of exceptional, new nanocellulose materials at commercially viable prices, while reducing the amount of plastics used around the world.

polymer-research-technologies

Polymer Research Technologies

Dr. James Olson of UBC and industry partner Polymer Research Technologies (PRT) are collaborating with the BC Research Institute to develop technology to chemically recycle polyurethane foam waste from the automotive, transportation, furniture, construction, insulation and appliance industries. The result will be a reusable, recyclable, economical, and environmentally friendly raw material alternative to petroleum-based virgin polyol in the polyurethane industry.

Terramera

Terramera

Dr. Juli Carillo, UBC, and Dr. Zamir Punja, SFU, are working with Terramera, a Vancouver-based plant intelligence company, to make a safer generation of plant-based pesticides derived from Neem and Karanja oils. Their breakthrough technology, known as the Molecular Delivery System (MDS), significantly amplifies their effectiveness, which will enable these environmentally friendly pesticides to outperform their synthetic chemical counterparts, creating a significant environmental impact in BC.

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FAQ

Stages and Process

Stage 1: Submission of Application
Stage 2: Invitation to Submit a Full Proposal

The application call lasts a few weeks. The applications are then reviewed and short-listed over the subsequent 4-8 weeks. Short-listed applications are invited to submit a full proposal. The proposals are then reviewed and awardees selected.

Funding
Partnership – Research Project Consortium
Application
"We know a lot about making molecules, but nothing whatsoever about commercialization. The academic and industry partnership is vital if we are going to get this new discovery out in the world for people to use."
Dr.Jeremy Wulff

Dr. Jeremy Wulff
Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Victoria, 2020 Ignite Award Recipient

"The Ignite funds were used to secure in excess of $800,000 in direct research funds from other organizations and played a role in attracting significant venture funding to advance our technology’s commercialization."
jetti-testimonial-circle

Dr. Nelson Mora, CTO, Jetti Resources
- 2019 Ignite Award Recipient

Ready to Apply?

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