Innovate BC awards $1.2 million in funding to four tech ventures

The record amount is meant to help the endeavours scale up and stay in the province.

Credit: Courtesy of LlamaZoo

TimberOps is taking home $300,000 in funding from Innovate BC

The record amount is meant to help the endeavours scale up and stay in the province 

For the eighth time, government agency Innovate BC has announced the winners of its Ignite Program—and once again, the ventures in question are using technology to break new ground and advance different industries.

Meet the four winning projects, each of which will receive $300,000 in funding. And bear with us as we try to explain them; these people are very smart.


UBC associate forestry professor Dominik Roeser, Victoria-based virtual reality leader LlamaZoo and Quebec-headquartered R&D firm FPInnovations are working on a platform meant to accelerate tree harvest planning.

TimberOps reduces costs by helping forestry companies understand topographic challenges without spending the manpower to be physically on the scene.

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

Edward Park, a professor in SFU’s school of mechatronic systems engineering, has joined forces with Vancouver-based Human in Motion Robotics. Together they‘re working on Exomotion—an exoskeleton that’s designed to get people out of wheelchairs and walking with full-legged mobility and independence.

In March, Human in Motion closed a $2.25-million funding round that was oversubscribed to the tune of more than $2.7 million.

Reduction to commercial practice of a universal polymer crosslinker and adhesive 

Wulff Group—led by UVic chemistry professor Jeremy Wulff—is collaborating with U.S. venture capital firm Epic Ventures to develop a new class of molecules that function as universal crosslinking agents for polymer chemistry.

It means that almost any material can be linked using the same basic technology, including existing commercially available polymers like wood and paper (e.g. cellulose), textiles (e.g. nylon and cotton), high-performance materials (e.g. ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) and industrial plastics (e.g. silicone and polypropylene).

Computational platform for developing Actigate-enabled formulations for agricultural applications  

SFU computer science professor Martin Ester and Vancouver-based agriculture cleantech outfit Terramera are developing a new platform to design anti-fungal formulations and accurately predict their efficacy on important crop diseases in Canada, such as wheat leaf rust.

Their effort incorporates Terramera’s proprietary Actigate technology, which makes plant-based pesticides more effective by boosting the performance of their active ingredients.

Like we said, these are smart people.

“Despite the ongoing global uncertainty, it’s extremely encouraging to see our local tech companies and researchers continuing to change the world with homegrown innovation,” said Innovate BC president and CEO Raghwa Gopal in a statement. “Since 2016, the Ignite Program has been a catalyst to help B.C.-based research projects access funding, accelerate commercialization and transform industries.”