It’s no surprise that a land of stunning natural beauty would inspire Canadians across the country to develop clean technology solutions. Almost every industry faces sustainability challenges – as simple as reducing waste and as complex as achieving net zero emissions targets. Good thing we’re a nation of innovators!

In this series, “Cleantech Coast to Coast: A Road Trip Across Canada”, Foresight hits the road (virtually, of course) to discover change-makers and cleantech leaders. From the nation’s biggest cities to remote pockets of innovation, we celebrate how Canadian ingenuity is tackling the most urgent challenges of our time.

No traffic, no pit stops, no battling siblings in the back seat – this is a road trip you won’t want to miss.

First stop: Oxygen8 in Vancouver, BC




Tired of sitting in a soup of recycled air in your office, school, or residence? Most buildings circulate about 80% of their air. Until now, adding more fresh air would require more energy. That’s all changing with smart solutions that create comfortable indoor environments from Oxygen8

Under the leadership of cleantech entrepreneurs James Dean and Matthew Doherty, Oxygen8 is focused on solving a specific and significant problem. The issue: HVAC systems are typically large, centralized, and energy inefficient. They mostly recirculate the same air – and all the dust, dirt, and germs that comes with it. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of indoor air quality and how good ventilation can prevent the spread of aerosols. 

Oxygen8’s compact, dedicated outdoor air system continuously draws in fresh air and uses cutting-edge heat exchanger technology to recapture energy from the exhaust air. Oxygen8’s products provide fresh air at the optimal temperature and humidity, while recovering thermal energy to create comfortable indoor environments with a low-carbon footprint and less energy consumption.

Oxygen8’s target market is large: older buildings with poor ventilations. Having launched startups before, James Dean says this feels different – market demand is huge, and the pace of growth is rapid. “We’re on a rocketship,” he says.

Currently focused on schools, long-term care facilities, and offices, they plan to expand to new construction and multi-unit residential buildings. Oxygen8 recently installed more than two dozen of its flagship Nova ventilation systems in buildings across North America and closed a $4.4 million Seed Series funding round in April with several strategic investors.

Watch for more from this West Coast fresh air innovator! 

Written By:

Karen Speirs

Karen Speirs is a communications specialist with experience in journalism, public relations, and corporate communications. Her passion is storytelling; Karen has authored several books and has provided writing services for a broad range of private and public sector organizations. Her most recent role was leading external communications for Best Buy Canada. The BC tech industry figures prominently in Karen’s work experience, including Communications roles with Innovate BC and the Digital Technology Supercluster.

More By This Author