15 Vancouver cleantech stories you may have missed this year

It's been a banner year for the region's world-class cleantech industry.

The BC cleantech sector is one of the fastest-growing segments of BC’s economy, as it drives innovation, employment, and investment that contributes to a more sustainable world.

The sector is made up of nearly 300 companies that employ more than 16,300 people and generate annual revenues of around $2.4 billion, up from $1.8 billion in 2016, according to the latest BC Cleantech Report Card from the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance.

The sector is also about to get a boost with the federal and provincial government partnering on a new Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy. The BC government is investing $60 million into the project and the feds are chipping in up to $35 million, according to the recently announced federal and provincial budgets.

With so much happening on this front, we decided to round up our recent news reports and briefings. Here are 15 local cleantech stories you may have missed this year.

  1. Burnaby’s Advanced Intelligent Systems (AIS) was one of 20 cleantech firms to split a $55.1 million federal investment into cleantech companies. AIS received $400,000 for their Outdoor Cart Puller and Post Harvesting Robots from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

  2. Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre announced the winners of the 2021 BC Cleantech Awards at a virtual awards ceremony. Winners in the individual and company categories included Elicia Maine, Julie Angus and Carol Wu, as well as Clir Renewables, Simon Fraser University, and Evok Innovations.

  3. The National Observer featured cleantech in B.C. as a $100-billion opportunity. “So what does B.C.need to be competitive?” asks former Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer.

  4. Zinc8, a Vancouver clean-energy startup developing a zinc-based hybrid flow battery for large-scale electricity storage secured $15 million in equity financing.

  5. B.C.-based Carbon Engineering launched a new CO2 removal service that allows customers to purchase the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere using the company's large-scale Direct Air Capture technology. Its first customer is Shopify, which has reserved 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon removal capacity.

  6. Vancouver’s Ionomr Innovations, which makes ion exchange membranes for a variety of applications, is one of only three startups admitted to the Shell GameChanger accelerator. The company was spun out of SFU four years ago, and it is the only Canadian company admitted to the accelerator.

  7. SFU engineers have developed a mobile thermal battery aimed at harvesting, storing, and transporting heat that’s generated from industrial processes, data centres and even hockey rinks.

  8. Vancouver forest management firm Mosaic is partnering with EcoWest Driven—an electric semi-truck and charging service provider—to use Tesla’s electric semi-trucks in Mosaic’s logging operations on Vancouver Island.

  9. Sales of zero-emission cars accounted for almost 10% of all car sales in B.C. in 2020—the highest electric vehicle uptake in North Americaaccording to Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. The Zero Emissions Vehicle report showed the most rebates were given to Tesla 3 base model owners, followed by Hyundai Kona, Toyota Prius Prime, Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevy Bolt.

  10. Ekona Power Inc., a company established by Evok Innovations and Innovative Breakthrough Energy Technologies raised $3.0 million from BDC Capital.

  11. Western Economic Diversification announced $1.9 million for UBCO to develop an innovation hub that will promote clean technologies that convert carbon-based additives and components into new, sustainable products

  12. CMC Research Institutes is partnering with Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre to develop Canada’s first International Business Development Strategy (IBDS) for the carbon capture, utilization, and storage sector

  13. Vancouver’s Vancity is a limited partner (LP) in a massive $150 million fund being raised by MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. for cleantech investing. Other investors include Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Quebec government.

  14. Lyft partnered with Toyota to bring hydrogen-powered rides to Vancouver. Through the Kinto Share App, Lyft drivers will be able to rent the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell EV, for $198/week.

  15. SFU is partnering with Foresight Cleantech Accelerator to advance the cleantech industry in B.C. The partnership will involve creating a new research program under the leadership of professor Mark Jaccard and Elicia Maine.

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