Government of Canada announces $9.9 million to scale up B.C. technology businesses and improve productivity
The Integrated Marketplace helps local tech companies pilot green solutions in real-world business environments and export made-in-B.C. products and services
October 20, 2023 – Vancouver, British Columbia – PacifiCan
British Columbia is home to hundreds of the most innovative technology companies in the world. By connecting them with large-scale B.C. organizations looking for sustainable solutions, these companies can test their new products and services, and grow their markets at home and abroad.
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced $9.9 million in PacifiCan funding to Innovate BC to help establish and grow the Integrated Marketplace. This funding, through PacifiCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program, is in addition to $11.5 million provided by the Government of B.C.
The Integrated Marketplace provides a platform for B.C. technology companies to develop and operationalize new innovations that address business challenges and advance climate goals in a real-world environment, such as a seaport or airport. Delivered by Innovate BC, the program builds a network of industry partners to identify challenges and implement technological solutions that help large-scale organizations decarbonize, increase competitiveness, and improve health and safety. This will open doors for B.C. companies to prove their technologies, and commercialize, sell, and export new products and services while reducing risk for buyers.
Today’s announcement took place at the Port of Vancouver, operated by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which was introduced as the program’s third industry testbed site. At the Port of Vancouver, the initial project will focus on developing digital tools to optimize the supply chain, which is expected to increase operational reliability and capacity.
The first two testbeds were launched over the past year at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the Port of Prince Rupert. For its initial testbed project, YVR is electrifying its support vehicles on the airfield to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions. At the Port of Prince Rupert, tests are being conducted to reduce use of diesel fuel, which will decarbonize operations and increase the port's efficiency and competitiveness.
The Government of Canada is committed to net-zero emissions nationwide by 2050, which will require innovative measures and technologies to help transform the economy. The Integrated Marketplace will not only accelerate the development and adoption of clean technologies, it will open up new markets and attract world-class talent to the province.
“British Columbia is brimming with the talent and innovative solutions needed to position Canada as a global leader in clean technology. By linking local companies with opportunities to demonstrate new products, we are accelerating the adoption of made-in-B.C. technology both domestically and abroad. PacifiCan’s support of the Integrated Marketplace is a critical step towards making our industries more competitive, creating good quality jobs, and paving the path to a net-zero future for all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“Canada’s innovative, sustainable cleantech solutions are key to our future prosperity. Today’s announcement will allow Innovate BC to support Canadian businesses to scale and grow right here at home while becoming global clean-tech leaders. The world needs more Canada and the Integrated Marketplace Initiative creates the right conditions to deliver it.”
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
“Innovation is at the heart of our economy, and the key to supporting our StrongerBC goals of clean and inclusive growth. This investment into the Integrated Marketplace is a great complement to the province’s work and will support more good jobs and opportunities for British Columbians. We look forward to working together to develop more made-in-B.C. innovation that will reduce emissions as we support important B.C. industries such as the Port of Vancouver."
- The Honourable Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
“The Integrated Marketplace (IM) is a unique, high-impact program that offers B.C. solution providers a pathway to develop, test and market homegrown innovation while also de-risking technology adoption for local industry. This funding from PacifiCan bolsters the incredible potential that IM has for developing our innovation ecosystem and will enhance opportunities for our innovators to make their mark here and worldwide.”
- Tomica Divic, Interim President + CEO, Innovate BC
“Technology and digitalization offer an exciting opportunity to strengthen the Port of Vancouver’s efficiency and resiliency, as well as enhance its ability to recover from disruptions such as the supply chain challenges caused in recent years by the pandemic and extreme weather events. The Port of Vancouver is unique in how it encompasses a broad variety of customers and supply chains, and we recognize the importance of developing digital infrastructure and enhancing data exchange to increase the capacity and reliability of the gateway to improve Canada’s competitiveness as a trading nation.”
- Peter Xotta, Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
“This announcement presents an exciting opportunity for B.C. ports and airports to work with local tech companies to solve challenging business problems and at the same time reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Integrated Marketplace initiative also increases export and trade opportunities for innovative B.C. companies and provides sustainable solutions that can benefit all British Columbians.”
- Gerri Sinclair, B.C. Innovation Commissioner
PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.
The Regional Innovation Ecosystem Program aims to grow and nurture priority sectors, including clean technology, life sciences and digital technology, across British Columbia to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem that allows those sectors to innovate and compete globally.
The Integrated Marketplace is an initiative that links a group of strategic buyers with suppliers (sellers) to implement, scale up, and ultimately export B.C. innovation solutions. The program started by working with key identified transportation sites in B.C. to bring forward innovations to address operational challenges.
The Integrated Marketplace launched in December of 2022.
Innovate BC is a Crown Agency of the Government of British Columbia. It funds technology adoption, talent development, and the growth of British Columbia’s innovation ecosystem through programs, sponsorship and competitions.
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister Responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
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