What a Trip! Cleantech Innovation in BC

Welcome to the “Road Trip Across BC” series from the BC CORE Cleantech Cluster, where we explore innovative companies across various regions in British Columbia. 

In this week’s wrap-up article, we reflect on the journey we took and all the innovative cleantech solutions we discovered throughout BC’s many and varied regions. 

British Columbia –  A Cleantech Powerhouse

Well, this was a fun trip! Before we unpack our bags from this journey (and start planning our next one), let’s take a minute to look at some of the treasures that the province has to offer, as we move together toward our CleanBC goals. 

The People are Passionate

Let’s start with the people. A road trip is only fun if you have a great group of people to go with, and this trip was no exception.

Thanks to Acterra, MarineLabs, BC Biocarbon, Metal Tech Alley, and Nexii, who shared their stories with us. Their ideas and their determination to create solutions and solve problems was inspirational. 

Synergy in Sectors

Travelling not only gets you out of your regular routine, it opens your eyes to new places, new people, and new ideas.  This virtual road trip opened our eyes to the synergies and interesting connections in and between sectors. 

For example, both BC Biocarbon in Northern BC and Acterra in the Okanagan Valley were exploring opportunities in carbon markets, and how to capture and sequester carbon. Similarly,  Advanced Bio-Carbon 3D in the Kootenays is working to capture carbon and recycle wood waste into bio-based plastics. Traditional industries like agriculture, forestry, and plastics manufacturing – all re-defining themselves as Canada moves toward a circular bioeconomy. 

Could there be ways for these companies and others like them to collaborate and communicate with each other, as the whole province moves toward achieving CleanBC goals? 

(We think there is – cluster organizations around the world demonstrate the value of strategic collaboration as a way of building economic value and generating wealth. See BC CORE Cleantech Strategy report.) 

Regional Visions 

One of the striking things about BC is how vast, diverse, and beautiful it is. Travelling (virtually) across the province revealed regions with their own unique visions and areas of specialization. It was exciting to see regional clusters of cleantech such as the cleantech and forestry cluster in the Prince George region, the metals/materials speciality in Trail, the green building expertise in the Lower Mainland, and the ocean and water tech companies on Vancouver Island – all examples of growing local economies tapping into global markets and national opportunities. 

We are Stronger Together

“In order for BC to pivot to a zero-carbon circular economy and hold on to a leadership position in cleantech, we have to break down communication silos, make strategic connections, and create the environment that allows cleantech companies to scale up into global solutions. “ – Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight (Innovations of the World)

British Columbia is not only a vibrant and beautiful place to live, it is also resilient; culturally diverse, environmentally aware, and home to innovative cleantech companies who are attracting top talent to the region. With our world-leading green building policies, strong carbon tax policies, and cleantech expertise, there is a real opportunity to lead Canada’s future economy – together. 

Thanks for coming along on our virtual road trip through BC’s cleantech ecosystem!

Now, time to start planning our next trip …. 

If you are an industrial company looking to scale up your innovation plans towards sustainable, circular solutions, contact Foresight’s VP of Commercialization, Jacob Malthouse to discuss how you can partner with us to access Western Canada’s biggest agenda-setting cleantech intelligence network and drive your innovation agenda. 

If you are a cleantech SME or startup looking to expand your horizons, scale up your business or explore opportunities in the circular economy, join our Community of Innovators today.  We look forward to hearing from you!