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Innovate BC Ignite awards

November 16, 2023

On September 25, 2023, Innovate BC awarded $1.365M to five B.C. research and development projects in natural resources and applied sciences that are improving lives for British Columbians. Specifically, this year’s funding, through Innovate BC’s Ignite program, is accelerating the commercialization of clean technology, advanced materials and manufacturing, and life science projects.

The successful projects were selected for their promising commercial and technical viability as well as their ability to be market ready within three years. All of the projects address an industry problem with the potential for significant benefit to British Columbia and be implemented by a group of academic and industry members.

VoxCell BioInnovation Inc. with Dr. Alexandre Brolo and Dr. Karolina Valente of the University of Victoria are collaborating to develop fully vascularized, human-like cancer tissue models by combining a custom high-resolution 3D bioprinter, advanced vascularized software, and proprietary bioinks to accelerate the development of life-saving anti-cancer drugs and decrease the current 95% drug failure rate. Awarded: $300,000

RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. and Dr. Mohsen Akbari of the University of Victoria are collaborating to develop smart microcarriers for high-density culture of therapeutic cells, without the use of enzymes. This approach protects cells from enzymatic damage and dramatically cuts down the costs associated with the production of cells for cell therapy, research, and production of cultivated meat. Awarded: $165,000

The Ignite Program is funded by the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund, which was established by the Province of British Columbia to enhance the quality of life for British Columbians by building strong environments in research and development, advanced training, technology transfer, and commercialization.

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