VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and FPInnovations are launching the first-ever "ARCTIC Challenge" for the forest sector, to elicit proposals from cleantech innovators on solutions to current challenges. The Challenge focuses on remote sensing solutions for conducting forest inventories. Remote sensing is expected to reduce costs by up to 75%, lower carbon emissions associated with traditional surveying, and provide more precise data than currently possible thereby enabling more efficient operational and environmental planning before harvesting. Research has indicated that savings of up to $100 million/year could be realized just in the B.C. forest sector.
Foresight's Advanced Resource Clean Technology Innovation Centre (ARCTIC ) program catalyzes and accelerates innovation in the resource sector, and with support from the industry partner (in this case, FPInnovations), government and the SMEs that participate in the challenge. Potential solution providers will be invited to respond to the ARCTIC challenge, after which a panel of experts will identify two to five finalists for a development program. Six months later, the expert panel will then select one finalist for the field testing phase.
"As stated in the Canadian Council of Forest Minister's Innovation Action Plan, collaborating, engaging and mobilizing are key elements to advancing forest sector innovation in Canada and supporting long-term environmental sustainability" said Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations. "The ARCTIC challenge and our partnership with Foresight allow us to engage and mobilize a broader network of ideas and innovators, and we expect that the state-of-the-art solutions generated by the program will be invaluable to the forest sector and have applications in other sectors."
"We are thrilled to be partnering with FPInnovations to marry cleantech solutions with real industry challenges," said Neil Huff, Managing Director of Foresight. "This is a unique opportunity for innovators to receive funding and be mentored by an elite group of executives and leaders while fast tracking the development of their products."
The ARCTIC Challenge is made possible through the financial support of Western Economic Diversification Canada, Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and industry partner FPInnovations. Tessellate Inc. and The Delphi Group serve as consulting partners.
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector's value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations' staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit: www.fpinnovations.ca.
About FORESIGHT and the ARCTIC program
Foresight Clean Technology Accelerator Centre is a BC-based not-for-profit that provides early-stage cleantech innovators with the guidance, training, and funding they need to accelerate their growth and product commercialization activities. To achieve its mandate, Foresight collaborates with the BC provincial government, Western Economic Diversification (WD), BDC, the BC Innovation Council (BCIC), universities, and the private sector. Foresight startups have gone on to create millions in investment and 70+ jobs. Foresight also runs the ARCTIC program with support from WD, which is a series of competitions held in partnership with industry to find cleantech solutions for issues in the resource sector. For more information visit www.foresightcac.com and http://arctic.foresightcac.com/, and follow on Twitter at @ForesightCAC or @ARCTIC_FCAC.