Universities in British Columbia to nominate clean energy and climate ventures emerging from entrepreneurial programs for up to $900,000 in grant funding 

VANCOUVER, BC, November 28, 2023 – The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is introducing a new funding avenue for emerging B.C.-based ventures that have recently graduated from university entrepreneurship programs. $75,000 in early-stage funding will be allocated to a maximum of twelve ventures nominated from leading universities across British Columbia: Simon Fraser University (SFU), University of British Columbia (UBC) campuses in Vancouver and the Okanagan, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and University of Victoria (UVic). 

“Supporting graduates embarking on new ventures is crucial for fostering their new skills and strengthening the transition to clean energy jobs. I look forward to seeing the results from the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy’s early-stage grant funding and collaboration with our public post-secondary institutions. It’s another step toward building a clean economy and a stronger, talent-driven workforce in B.C.”

Hon. Selina Robinson

Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

The pathway to securing early-stage funding and partnerships is challenging, especially for early-stage ventures fresh out of universities. Many innovative ideas lose momentum due to a lack of critical support – including solutions with the potential to be the next groundbreaking advancement in the transition to clean energy and decarbonization. 

In response to this crucial need, CICE is proud to collaborate with entrepreneurship@UBC-O, entrepreneurship@UBC-V, SFU VentureLabs, UNBC Innovation Program and UVic Coast Capital Innovation Centre to bridge the funding gap that typically hinders ventures between early solution validation and the development of a commercialization strategy (Technology Readiness Levels 4-9). The funding will be structured in two stages, beginning with an initial grant of $75,000 per selected venture, and additional follow-on funding contingent on successful project milestone achievements.

“CICE is primed to advance the commercialization of up to twelve breakthrough clean energy and climate solution ventures rooted in British Columbia. Our universities have an impressive track record of cultivating amazing companies, including Moment Energy from SFU VentureLabs, and Arca and Takachar from entrepreneurship@UBC-V, all of whom have received support from CICE as they scale their clean energy solutions from B.C. to the global stage. Our collaborative effort to provide catalytic funding when it’s most critical will accelerate Canada towards the ultimate objective of realizing net-negative emissions.”

Todd Sayers

Chief Operating Officer of the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy

Applications for the university innovation call were accepted from January 22 to March 4, 2024, and funding decisions will be announced in April 2024. To learn more about the application process, read the application guide and watch the Q&A webinar (recorded Dec 12, 2023).



“The University of British Columbia is committed to a sustainable future and regional prosperity. Creating new ventures can be a difficult process, even more so for cleantech ventures. Those starting out can lose momentum through validation and pursuing commercial scale. We’re grateful to the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy for this new funding avenue that will help support and increase the chances of success for emerging BC clean energy and climate ventures on the way to a net-zero future.” – Sandra Spencer, Innovation Manager, UBC Okanagan


“We applaud the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy for recognizing and addressing a critical resource gap for climate ventures at the earliest stages of their venture journey, when they need it the most. entrepreneurship@UBC is thrilled to partner with CICE to support and advance the potential startups , poised to be the next big breakthrough solution in the transition to a clean energy and decarbonized society.” – Dr. Sean Lumb, Associate Director, entrepreneurship@UBC, Vancouver campus.

SFU VentureLabs 

“CICE funding is helping to bridge a known gap in the early stages of creating impactful science based ventures. Researchers at B.C. universities develop inventions and found ventures with the potential to create substantial economic, social and environmental value.  By providing meaningful financial contributions to high potential clean energy ventures at a time when they are de-risking new product development, this initiative will decrease the time to market for research-based innovations. We appreciate working with CICE on the development of the program, and look forward to the implementation.” – Dr. Elicia Maine, Associate Vice-President, Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation, Simon Fraser University

UVic Coast Capital Innovation Centre 

“UVic attracts, trains and supports passionate, highly skilled student entrepreneurs seeking to make a difference. Our transformative research in climate change and clean energy transformation provides the perfect testbed for social and technological innovation. This funding will help propel ground-breaking new ideas forward and clear the path for promising ventures to have a profound impact.” – Dr. Lisa Kalynchuk, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Victoria

UNBC Innovation Program

“Embracing a culture of curiosity, the University of Northern British Columbia is excited to collaborate with the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy to inspire discovery through research. This funding will help to empower enterprising students and recent graduates as they transform ideas into emerging startups that hold the promise of creating a sustainable future.” – Dr. Paula Wood-Adams, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Northern British Columbia

About CICE

The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that grants early-stage funding to fast-track the commercialization of British Columbia’s most impactful clean energy solutions – from Canada to the world. We match the urgency and efficiency of the companies we fund, driving innovation like the planet depends on it. Because it does. Together with our climate-first community of innovators, industry leaders, academia, government, and Indigenous partners, we advance future pathways to net-zero – leveraging B.C.’s clean energy advantages to attract investment, create good jobs and build sustainable economic prosperity for decades to come. 

For questions or interviews, please contact:

Stacy Gorkoff
Head of Marketing
BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE)


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