Innovate BC has awarded $1.2 million to four B.C. based research projects through its Ignite Program – the most ever awarded through the Ignite Program.

Since the Ignite Program launched in 2016, Innovate BC has awarded $6.5 million to 28 projects. When including matching funds from industry and government sources, total investment into these projects jumps to more than $24.8 million.

The Ignite Awards is just one way that Innovate BC helps tech ventures start, scale, and stay in British Columbia.

Ignite Award winners are selected based on their promising commercial and technical viability, as well as their ability to be market ready within three years.

To be considered, projects must address an industry problem in the natural resource or applied sciences, have the potential for significant benefit to British Columbia, and be realized by a group of academic and industry members.

The following four projects are receiving $300,000 each.

TimberOps: An Immersive Visual Analytics Platform for the Forestry Industry

Led by UBC’s Dr. Dominik Roeser and industry partners LlamaZOO and FPInnovations, TimberOps is a research platform that integrates multiple datasets into a common visualization context and delivers immersive analytic experiences through virtual and augmented reality.

The platform provides an alternative to expensive field trips for silviculture, harvesting, and transportation planning, saving valuable time, money, and resources for end-users.

Development of the next generation wearable lower-limb exoskeleton for mobility assistance

SFU’s Dr. Edward Park and industry partner Human in Motion Robotics 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.

Exomotion is a breakthrough medical technology for daily use and offers a dramatic improvement in mobility challenged persons’ daily living and overall quality of life due to increased mobility and independence.

Reduction to Commercial Practice of a Universal Polymer Crosslinker & Adhesive 

The Wulff research group, led by UVIC’s Dr. Jeremy Wulff, is collaborating with Epic Ventures to develop a new class of molecules that function as universal crosslinking agents for polymer chemistry. This technology is the first approach that allows virtually any material to be crosslinked using the same basic technology, including existing, commercially available polymer materials like wood and paper, textile fabric, high-performance materials, and industrial plastics.

These crosslinkers can be employed as universal adhesives, allowing the user to “glue” essentially any two pieces of polymer together, even in cases where traditional adhesives like super glue show barely measurable bonding.

Computational Platform for Developing Actigate™-enabled Formulations for Agricultural Applications

SFU’s Dr. Martin Ester and industry partner Terramera are developing a new computational platform to design antifungal formulations and accurately predict their efficacy on important crop diseases in Canada. The platform will incorporate Terramera’s proprietary Actigate™ technology, meaning an increased efficacy and lower use of the active ingredient that kills pests.

This project will generate machine learning models built on details of Actigate and active ingredient chemistries, crop and pest genomics, varied growth conditions, and evaluate results including quantified phenotypes, to predict the best active ingredient formulations to kill specific fungi on specific crops. The outcome will be new pest control products for agriculture in Canada and worldwide.