A new business innovation network is launching on the West Coast, aimed at helping British Columbia transition to a clean, net-zero economy.

“A sustainable, clean economy for our future is a priority for all British Columbians, and developing and launching the necessary technology is essential for businesses, researchers and innovators,” said Adam Walker, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Sustainable Economy.

“To tackle this, Foresight’s Net Zero Innovation Network will help support the adoption and growth of clean tech in B.C. This will help to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets, drive economic growth, and enhance industrial competitiveness, expanding B.C.’s position as a global leader in clean energy technology.”

Foresight Canada, with $2.3 million in support from the province and $5.2 million from Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan), is creating the BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN) to support clean-tech innovators and adopters to compete, attract investment and talent, and help them grow faster while bringing their products to market.

The network will create initial clusters in the water, bio-economy and mining sectors, with a fourth expected to be announced this spring. The goal of the cluster approach is to help clean-tech entrepreneurs and scientists create world-changing technologies and bring them to market.

MLA Adam Walker, MP Parm Bains, Foresight CEO Jeanette Jackson, and Minister Harjit S. Sajjan at launch of new BC Net Zero Innovation Network. Image credit: Government of B.C.

The network will also advance regional economic growth opportunities, and reduce the risk of investment decisions that support net-zero and environmental goals at the provincial and federal levels.

“The world is moving towards cleaner technologies and Canada has the opportunity to be a true global leader, creating good jobs for Canadians, while helping the world meet climate change and other environmental goals,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, federal Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. “PacifiCan’s support for this project with Foresight Canada is an important step in creating environmental solutions here in B.C.

This builds on a 2019 project for which Foresight received $66,250 from the provincial and federal governments to create a six-month Cleantech Cluster Initiative. A final report released in June 2020 recommended the development of a new clean-tech cluster organization with focuses on water, mining and agriculture alongside energy, transportation and forestry.

“Foresight Canada is thrilled to launch the BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN), made possible through funding contributions from PacifiCan, the Province of British Columbia, and other partners,” said Jeanette Jackson, chief executive office of Foresight Canada.

“This project will take clean-tech innovation in British Columbia to the next level, allowing climate ventures and industry leaders from key sectors across the province to develop and scale critical climate solutions that attract capital, generate green jobs, drive exports and accelerate domestic industry sustainability. Initiatives like this will significantly accelerate Canada’s transition to a net-zero economy, and Foresight is excited to demonstrate this model in B.C.”

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Featured image credit: CleanBC.

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