Bulletin: Innovate BC invests $900k into research focused on bioplastics, mining and cancer treatments

The investments were made through the Ignite Program, which has funded 31 projects for a total value of $7.4M.

Innovate BC announced $900,000 awarded for three BC research projects. The funding, through Innovate BC’s Ignite program, accelerates the commercialization of the following three cleantech, mining and biotech projects. All three projects received $300,000 in funding.

Compostable bioplastics for single-serve coffee pods

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

Linking orebody knowledge to real-time sensor information

Mining is moving underground, where risks are high, and costs are huge. The application of deep cave knowledge is essential to the future of mining in BC. UBC’s Dr. Bern Klein and Dr. Andrew Csinger from the Centre for Innovation in Mineral Resource Engineering are developing advanced tools for cave mining to improve safety and productivity.

Radiopharmaceuticals for immune imaging

Oncologists are challenged to identify which patients will benefit from immune-based cancer therapies. 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 in order to improve the management of cancer treatments.

“We’re excited to help supercharge game-changing innovation,” said Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC, in a statement. “Past winners have solved billion-dollar market problems that companies like Goodyear have tried to solve for 50 years.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said in a statement: “Innovation is one of the pillars of economic growth and will become increasingly important as we rebuild from the impacts of COVID. These companies are producing breakthrough technologies that will help protect the environment, stimulate the economy, and benefit people’s lives.”

Each year Innovate BC’s Ignite Program selects research projects in cleantech and applied sciences, awarding up to $300,000 per project. To date, it has funded 31 projects for a total value of $7.4M.