The Canadian government is tapping software, wearables and digital platforms built by eight startups in British Columbia to innovate federal departments.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough announced the government is investing more than $5 million into eight technology companies in the western provinces through contracts with some of the government’s largest agencies.
Seven Vancouver companies and one based in Kelowna will each receive up to nearly $1.2 million.
Bionic Power was awarded the largest contract for its knee brace wearable that can charge batteries while walking. National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will be testing the company’s PowerWalk, that creates self-generated power. The Halo-inspired brace earned the attention of the U.S. army in 2015, awarding Bionic Power a $1.27 million USD contract for their kinetic energy harvester.
National Defence is also testing out H+ Technology’s HoloMAX that converts digital content from any device into 3D holographs, a $1 million investment to harness the emerging technology
The RCMP will be trying out AI-driven software that identifies illegal digital content through a half-million dollar contract with Two Hat Security. National Research Council Canada and Health Canada are seeing how a wearable monitor by Nanozen Industries can detect dangerous dust particles in the air.
Both Natural Resources Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada will test Pug Pharm‘s trademarked Picnic Community Platform that is gamifying online experiences. Natural Resources will also run a software platform by Tanka that detects, monitors and maps wildfires using artificial intelligent and high-resolution satellite images.
All eight investments were made through the government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program. The program recently awarded Burnaby’s Motive.io to build location-based, AR experiences in the nation’s capital.