Bridging the support gap between early solution validation and commercialization  

VANCOUVER, BC, May 23, 2024 – The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) has awarded the first two recipients of a new non-dilutive investment avenue for emerging B.C.-based ventures that have recently graduated from university entrepreneurship programs. Vancouver-based VulcanX Energy Corp. and Victoria-based Curat Innovations Inc. have each been awarded $75,000.      

“The pathway to securing early-stage funding and partnerships is challenging, especially for university-based entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures fresh out of universities. Supporting post-secondary graduates embarking on new ventures is crucial for building a skilled and diverse workforce, and leading a clean, prosperous economy.”

Sarah Goodman

President and CEO of the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy

Many innovative ideas, including clean energy and climate solutions spun out of universities, lose momentum due to lack of funding, despite their potential. To address this, CICE collaborates with entrepreneurship@UBC-O, entrepreneurship@UBC-V, SFU VentureLabs, UNBC Innovation Program and UVic Coast Capital Innovation Centre. Together, they bridge the funding gap that typically hinders ventures between early solution validation and the development of a commercialization strategy.  

Non-dilutive investment from CICE is structured in two stages: an initial corporate investment of $75,000 per selected venture, followed by additional potential investment consideration for CICE’s larger project-based funding from its bi-annual intakes. CICE investment and support is helping the following ventures advance intellectual property, pilot technologies, and accelerate commercialization strategies:   

VulcanX Energy Corp., a University of British Columbia spinout, is accelerating the transition to net-zero by providing a technology that produces hydrogen and solid carbon from natural gas based on methane pyrolysis with a molten metal recirculation system. If successful, VulcanX holds the potential to produce hydrogen at the same price as current technologies (<$2 per kg), but with minimal emissions and lower energy consumption (13 kWh/kg H2). 
Curat Innovations Inc., a University of Victoria spinout, is tackling organic waste disposal problems and associated GHG emissions by developing an organic waste processing technology that significantly decreases the amount of hauling and methane gas release associated with food waste. Organic waste is neutralized in three days, creating beneficial soil supplements that can also help restore the natural ecosystems’ abilities to sequester carbon.    

Applications for the CICE University Call for Innovation were accepted from January 22nd to March 4th, 2024.  

About CICE 

The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides early-stage investment to fast-track the commercialization of British Columbia’s most impactful clean energy and climate solutions – from Canada to the world. We match the urgency and efficiency of the companies we support, 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 a prosperous, clean economy for decades to come.  


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