Foresight launches new BC Net Zero Innovation Network to Catalyze Cleantech Innovation Across the Province

February 1, 2023

Pictured: Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville – Qualicum and Parliamentary Secretary for the Sustainable Economy; Parm Bains, Member of Parliament for Steveston – Richmond East; Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada; and Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC.

Foresight Canada is thrilled to announce the launch of the BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN), an initiative that will accelerate the development and adoption of critical climate solutions from across the province and establish BC as a global leader in cleantech innovation. Foresight is excited to lead this next phase in cleantech acceleration, made possible by financial support from the Government of Canada through PacifiCan and the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. 

The opportunity and the need for BCNZIN was shaped by Foresight’s work back in 2019, when we worked alongside the Province of British Columbia on a six-month Cleantech Cluster Initiative, the CORE Cleantech Cluster program, to accelerate the pace of cleantech development, commercialization, and adoption across the province. Through delivery of this program, Foresight established a key call to action: engage all stakeholders and rights holders throughout BC to form a stronger clean technology innovation ecosystem that accelerates the pace of innovation, fast-tracks new ideas to market, and scales the cleantech sector as a whole. 

Building on this strategy, along with government climate initiatives and lessons learned from Foresight’s cleantech ventures and industry partners, the BCNZIN aims to create a powerful and collaborative provincial cleantech community and catalyze cleantech innovation across the province. We now have a unique opportunity to take our different regional strengths across British Columbia, particularly in the resource sector, and look to activate projects that will reduce emissions and environmental impact, and create regional and rural economic development that leads to sustainable jobs. 

The government support for this initiative enables Foresight to work alongside industry partners to help them meet their carbon reduction and other environmental goals, while also working with cleantech innovators to accelerate the pace of market adoption, and move towards urgent net zero targets. To achieve this, we need to collaborate with partners across the ecosystem, including with academia, Indigenous partners, all levels of government, business leaders, or other non profit organizations and industry associations. Let’s work together to accelerate British Columbia’s sustainable and thriving green economy. 

“The BC Net Zero Innovation Network will take cleantech 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. Foresight is excited to demonstrate this model in British Columbia, as it is initiatives like this that will significantly accelerate Canada’s transition to a net zero economy.”

Jeanette Jackson CEO of Foresight Canada

How it works

BCNZIN will operate through a distributed hub and node model, launching four sectoral or regional hubs with an aim to strategically address federal, provincial, local, and industry-led goals. Initial clusters in mining, water, and bioeconomy are underway, with a fourth sector to be determined through conversations with partners over the coming months. . 

Each hub will have its own tailored programming and projects focused on the unique opportunities  within that sector or region. The overarching network will connect all the hubs together to create cross-cluster learning, resource sharing, and business development opportunities. 

Through this unique approach, Foresight and its partners are confident that BC will become a model for cleantech ecosystems and innovation across the country and around the world, helping to bolster our provincial economy and accelerate Canada’s path to net zero. 

About Foresight Canada

Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.