Two Island companies receive funding for cleantech projects

Industrial Plankton and Aerometrix are the newest recipients of the BC Fast Pilot program.

Welcome to this week’s Midweek Memo. In this issue, read about cleantech funding on the Island, a partnership with Formula 1, faster tenant screening, and regional economic development.

Now, onto today’s briefing. It’s 1,043 words, a four-minute read.

More funding for cleantech on Vancouver Island

Two Vancouver Island standouts have been named amongst 13 B.C. companies set to receive funding from Innovate BC and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).

Intended to support and advance the province’s cleantech sector, the investment targets local projects that require a physical presence and are capital intensive.

Industrial Plankton, one of the Vancouver Island companies picked for the latest round of funding, designs and builds live algae culture equipment — or, as they put it, “letting you focus on growing your business instead of your algae.”

What is large and readily available quantities of algae required for? As it turns out, quite a bit. Researchers; aquaculture companies like hatcheries; and businesses producing pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and omega 3-oils all rely on a supply of high-quality algae that is biosecure — meaning safe from plant pests and pathogens.

The Innovate BC/NRC-IRAP funding will give Industrial Plankton an opportunity to prove the performance of its new seaweed bioreactors in a commercial setting, demonstrating the capabilities of the system in a real-world ocean.

“Seaweed production has clear benefits for climate change and ocean health, and North America has a massive coastline for seaweed production,” said Robert Roulston, Industrial Plankton’s founder and CEO. “But, an industry needs a reliable source of seed, which often limits the growth of new aquaculture industries. With support from Innovate BC, we are removing that hurdle and accelerating the growth of the seaweed sector in North America."

A mere 10 minutes south on the Trans Canada, you’ll find Aerometrix Systems. With locations in Greater Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and the Okanagan, Aerometrix develops and uses sensor-equipped drones to survey and measure greenhouse and hazardous gas emissions at landfills, dams, gas wells, processing plants, pipelines, and dairy feedlots.

Funding for Aerometrix will go towards its GasMap product: a rapid, sensitive, and small drone-based laser spectrometer system that detects the source and scale of methane emissions.

“Although the climate effects of all greenhouse gases are important, the reduction in global methane emissions can lead to the largest and fastest changes on a decadal time scale,” said Peter Sherk, Electronics Engineer at Aerometrix Services. “Aerometrix is pioneering the use of small aerial vehicles with ultra-sensitive laser sensors to detect and quantify the locations of methane emissions — for example, leaks from natural gas facilities, landfills and feedlots.”

The funding from Innovate BC and NRC-IRAP, totalling $2 million, is part of the BC Fast Pilot program, which helps small and medium sized businesses design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology while helping to solve real world problems. The program was launched in 2019 and is now in its fifth funding round.


Meet an Exceptional Founder: Crystal Hamilton

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👋 Who: Crystal Hamilton

👀 Why: There's no established standard of training or education for hospitality workers. Knowbie solves that.

🎉 Latest announcement: Recognized as Startup of the Year finalist at BC Technology Impact Awards!

📰 More Victoria innovation news

🏎 You got a fast car: Formula 1 picked Victoria-based STN Video to deliver video content to U.S. and Canadian audiences. Publishers will be able to display Formula 1 video content through STN’s online video platform.

🤝 On an island in the sun: The Island Community Mental Health Association joined the South Island Prosperity Partnership as its newest regional economic development agency member.

🕵️ I’m just checking in: Victoria’s Certn partnered with Leasey.AI to provide property managers and landlords with direct access to Certn’s automated background checks, and expedite the tenant screening process.

🕴️ Tech jobs of the week

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