How Victoria is Powering Canada Forward

Plus, dive into a women-in-tech collective, and a chance to rethink your medicine cabinet.


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Briefing, brought to you by the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST). In this issue, discover the Victoria-based healthtech startup that will optimize your supplement intake, get insights from local high school and university alumni, learn which summer events to attend, and plenty more.

Now, onto today’s briefing. It’s 1,021 words, a four-minute read.

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UVic, Rainhouse lend insight as the Government of Canada unveils strategic vision

Photo credit: Rainhouse on LinkedIn

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, recently released Powering Canada Forward, the Government of Canada's vision for transforming Canada's electricity sector. Broadly speaking, the report aims to decarbonize Canadian grids by 2035, keep the country’s electricity systems reliable, and ensure household energy costs are affordable. This project rivals any nation-building project in Canada's history.

“Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity is a critical step in driving down emissions and seizing the massive economic opportunities that will be enabled through the shift to a low-carbon future,” Wilkinson said. “This vision document, Powering Canada Forward, illustrates how, working together, we can build out a clean grid at a pace and scale needed to fight climate change, create good sustainable jobs, and secure our economic prosperity for generations to come."

The vision, unveiled at Invinity Energy Systems’ Vancouver manufacturing facility, also featured a discussion amongst those in attendance. Two Victoria outfits had a seat at the (round)table: UVic and Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada.

Rainhouse’s presence was particularly significant. The company recently received funding from another attendee: $750,000 from the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) to advance Rainhouse’s demonstration of an energy storage solution. The project will use retired electric vehicle batteries to store power, solving a problem faced by many rural municipalities with intermittent access to energy — particularly when it is enabled by solar or wind generation.

Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada’s president and CEO Ray Brougham was honoured to attend today’s release of Powering Canada Forward, the Government of Canada’s strategic vision for decarbonizing the electricity sector at a pace and scale of historic proportions,” the company posted on LinkedIn. “Ray had a great time meeting Minister Wilkinson and Minister Bailey and listening to their thoughts on powering towards emissions-free electrification, in collaboration with the B.C.-based clean energy community.”

The unveiling showcases that the federal government is bullish on clean energy nationwide, and particularly in B.C. Its choice to launch the vision in Vancouver — and ensure Victoria-based innovators participated in the event — represents the province’s hefty presence in the national conversation that will inform the development of Canada's first Clean Electricity Strategy, to be released in 2024.


Massive potential in blue economy

As it builds Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy, COAST invites ocean and marine businesses to get involved. As executive director Jason Goldsworthy notes, “There are an increasing number of innovators providing new commercial solutions to key industry challenges. We can accelerate their growth and impact.” Get connected:

🏙️ Community catchup, powered by VIATEC

VIATEC's Rooftop BBQ Summer Social is coming up on August 23. Here's why you can't miss this tech-tastic event:

  • Rub elbows with tech titans: Meet fellow tech geeks who'll blow your mind with their genius ideas. Who knows — you might just find your next big project partner or tech BFF.

  • Grill skills that thrill: Brace your taste buds for a rollercoaster of flavour! VIATEC is serving up the juiciest BBQ delights and refreshing drinks that'll keep you fuelled for an afternoon of connections and fun.

  • Views to die for: Picture this — stunning rooftop views, sunset hues, and a bunch of geeks having the time of their lives. You won't believe the Insta-worthy moments you'll capture.

📰 More Victoria innovation news

💊 The formula for formulas: VitaminLab, a local healthtech company developing personalized supplements, wrote a blog post with tips on how to build a custom supplement roster.

🥂 A toast to Toast: Royal Roads University featured alumni April Hicke, the co-founder and chief growth officer of Toast: a membership-based women’s collective to advance women in tech.

🏫 Schooling the high schoolers: Justin Tse, the founder and CEO of Feature Media, returned to his old stomping grounds of St. Michaels University School to give some advice to its current crop of students.

🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

Find your next career:

Hiring in Victoria? Reply to this email and let us know!

📅 Upcoming events

August 15 | 3D printing personalized tissue models: Join UVic and Axolotl Biosciences’ Stephanie Willerth and Milena Restan Perez for this webinar to discuss recent advances in bioink technology, and how they can be combined with 3D bioprinting to generate personalized tissue models.

August 16 | Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program Information Session: Are you an innovative, globally-oriented business seeking to accelerate your growth? Then it’s worth checking out this event.

Have an upcoming event? Reply to let us know.

🙋 I need…software jobs advice

Here’s your last chance to help two Victoria Tech Journal community members who are still after a lead:

  • One reader is looking for their next gig. They developed for a few years for a local startup — using React, Python (Django/Flask), PostgreSQL, and AWS — but also has experience in customer-facing roles. Send an email to [email protected] with any help.

  • Another is looking for advice on how to get back into the software industry. In a previous life, they had a degree in computer science and a brief career as a software developer (mostly Java, Javascript, and SQL, and a bit of scripting). Can you help them figure out how to return IT, and which skills would be worth learning or brushing up on? Let us know if you can spare some time to chat at [email protected].

And, as always, whatever you’re hunting for, let us know. We’ll post it in this section and make it happen. Email your requests to the same address!

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Have something or someone we should know about? Reply or email [email protected] so we can work together to spotlight the lesser-known stories of Victoria's tech ecosystem.