This week the BC Innovation Council announced the four winners of the third annual BCIC Ignite Awards.
A total of $735,000 was awarded to the four BC research projects in natural resources and applied sciences. The four projects met award criteria and demonstrate the ability to adapt and succeed in diverse fields including environmental monitoring, forestry, waste management, and life sciences.
The four winning research projects, with their academic and industry members, are:
Structural Engineering: Matheo Duerfeld, CEO, BC Passive House, working with Dr. Thomas Tannert, UNBC. They aim to change how commercial wooden buildings are built with wood-based prefabricated timber panels.
Environmental Monitoring: Dr. Greg Quant, VP BC/Yukon Region, Hemerra Envirochem, working with Dr. Caren Helbing, UVIC. They will enable more informed decision-making about the ecological health and diversity of our environment.
Waste Water Treatment: Dr. Al Gibb, VP of Wastewater Treatment, Opus International, working with Dr. Victor Lo, UBC. They expect to change the way waste organic slurries are treated and handled with a breakthrough process that has a shorter reaction time and higher throughput than existing technology.
Life Sciences: Tamer Mohamed, CEO, Aspect Biosystems, working with Dr. Stephanie Willerth, UVIC. Together they are developing functional 3D bio printed human nerve tissues that can recreate the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury.
Award criteria is based on commercial and technical viability as well as the ability to be market ready within three years. Research projects must address a significant industry driven problem and be realized by a group of academic and industry members.
As a result of the unique BCIC Ignite model, more than $2 million in total is being contributed to the four projects to commercialize transformative research. Ignite requires applicants to leverage award funds at a ratio of $2 matching dollars to $1 BCIC Ignite dollars.
2016 Ignite Award winner Jetti Resources went on to raise a USD $18.7 million Series A financing round that included Silicon Valley venture firms. Jetti Resources specializes in new ways to extract metals from mineral ores.