As part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, the Integrated Marketplace Initiative kicked off last year with a pilot project linking Vancouver International Airport to B.C. clean-technology companies to help electrify operations and perhaps even become the world͛s greenest airport.
This month, an additional $10 million of funding through the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada was announced for the Integrated Marketplace, building on an initial investment of $11.5 million from the provincial government.
The Integrated Marketplace provides a platform for B.C. technology companies to develop and operationalize innovations that address business challenges in a real-world environment, such as a seaport or airport.
Delivered by Innovate BC, the program builds a network of industry partners to identify challenges and implement technological solutions that help large-scale organizations increase competitiveness and improve health and safety, according to Harjit Sajjan, the federal Minister responsible for PacifiCan.
“British Columbia is brimming with the talent and innovative solutions needed to position Canada as a global leader in clean technology,” stated Sajjan. “By linking local companies with opportunities to demonstrate new products, we are accelerating the adoption of made-in-B.C. technology both domestically and abroad.”
“The Integrated Marketplace is a unique, high-impact program that offers B.C. solution providers a pathway to develop, test, and market homegrown innovation while also de-risking technology adoption for local industry,” according to interim chief executive of Innovate BC, Tomica Divic.
“This funding from PacifiCan bolsters the incredible potential that IM has for developing our innovation ecosystem,” the interim CEO added.
“Today’s announcement will allow Innovate BC to support Canadian businesses to scale and grow right here at home while becoming global clean-tech leaders,” stated Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade, and Economic Development.
The investment “is a great complement to the province’s work and will support more good jobs and opportunities for British Columbians,” according to Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.
Gerri Sinclair, B.C. Inovation Commissioner, agrees, stating that the announcement “presents an exciting opportunity for BC ports and airports to work with local tech companies to solve challenging business problems and at the same time reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
The IM was formally launched in December.