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What will it take to reach BC’s cleantech potential? Four diverse perspectives at BC Middle Market Growth Conference

What will it take to reach BC’s cleantech potential? Four diverse perspectives at BC Middle Market Growth Conference

Does BC’s future include realizing our cleantech potential?

Cleantech has become one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy. The innovation happening in BC is leading us toward a more sustainable economy and has become a major driver of growth.

The transition to a low carbon economy is just beginning. The shift represents enormous potential and also raises the question of whether BC has the right environment for continued growth.

At BC Middle Market Growth Conference on April 9, we’re bringing together diverse perspectives on BC’s cleantech industry in a discussion moderated by Paul Austin of Fort Capital Partners. Our panelists represent government, academia, private business and the financing side of the business — all of them playing a unique role in shaping the industry’s future.

We asked our panelists: What does BC’s cleantech future look like?

“BC continues to be a leader in cleantech and we have the opportunity to expand this. We’ve found that BC has a supportive government, great talent, good infrastructure and an international reputation as a desirable place to work. Cleantech is going to be one of the most important industries of the future – let’s build it here.”
– Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering

“BC has real economic opportunities in new clean technology companies that are capable of transforming the province’s traditional industrial sectors. Positioning these sectors for growth is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity in the next decade that will create new wealth, jobs and prosperity. Chrysalix will help BC lead the way through our support for homegrown companies and other new investments in resource productivity, while attracting more large industrial companies to invest here.”
– Wal Van Lierop, Executive Chairman, Chrysalix Venture Capital

“A vibrant cluster working at home to enable BC to meet its commitments to reduce emissions and working internationally to deploy cutting-edge technologies that move the world to less carbon-intensive energy use.”
– Stephen Brydon, BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund

“BC is already recognized as a global thought leader and start-up generator in the emerging cleantech sector. The potential for economic growth – particularly the latent potential represented by our university investors – is substantial.”
– Elicia Maine, Professor, SFU’s Beedie School of Business


More about our cleantech panelists:   

Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering

Steve Oldham has led Carbon Engineering (CE) since February 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. Steve brings an impressive track-record of technology commercialization to CE, with previous positions in technology, robotics, and aerospace sectors, and a succession of executive positions at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA) in Vancouver, BC. He has played a lead role in a number of ‘Canada firsts’ in technology commercialization, including the first robot performing brain surgery, the first commercial radar satellite, robots that clean the inside of nuclear reactors, and satellites that service and repair other satellites.


Wal Van Lierop, Executive Chairman, Chrysalix Venture Capital

Wal is an award-winning business leader and visionary in innovation, sustainability and cleantech, with unique industry insights gained through his experience as a venture capitalist, corporate executive, international consultant and university professor. Wal founded Crysalix Venture Capital, a private equity firm focused on industrial innovation, where he helped raise more than $250M and participated in more than $1B in venture capital financings. He has sourced, invested in and advised numerous startups, assisting them in building breakthrough solutions for the new world economy while working hand-in-hand with large multinational companies on their innovation strategies. Wal is a member of the Board of Directors at Chrysalix portfolio companies General Fusion, Inventys and Axine Water Technologies. He is a founder of New Ventures BC, a founding member of the BC CEO Alliance and Evok Innovations, Advisory Board member of the Cleantech Group and judge of the Cleantech 100. He has been an adjunct professor at both SFU and UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and frequently speaks at industry events.


Stephen Brydon, Director, BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund

Stephen Brydon is a Director of the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. The ICE Fund is a Special Account, funded through a levy on certain energy sales, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and to advance BC’s clean energy sector. Stephen joined the Ministry in 2016 from BC Transit where he was Manager, Environment & Climate Action responsible for environmental risk management and compliance. Stephen has worked in the BC Public Service in a number of provincial government ministries and crown agencies (including BC Hydro) with a focus on clean energy innovation and economic development; and began his career in the UK civil service, working in regional trade and investment promotion, including postings in Hong Kong and Europe.


Elicia Maine, Professor, SFU’s Beedie School ofBusiness

Specializing in technological innovation and science entrepreneurship, Professor Elicia Maine uses her expertise to guide innovation policy and commercialization strategy and to mentor emerging innovators. Founder and Academic Director of Invention to Innovation (i2l), a novel graduate program in Science & Technology Commercialization, Prof. Maine has been awarded the TD / Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award and was a finalist of BC TECH’s “Person of the Year” award. She holds a PhD in Technology Management & Materials Engineering from Cambridge University and Master’s degrees in Technology & Policy Materials Engineering from MIT. She teaches “Managing Technological Innovation” and “Lab to Market” at SFU’s Beedie School of Business and has published research on innovation management. She is active as a keynote speaker, judge, and advisor for conferences, competitions, and ventures enabling cleantech innovation and health innovation. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator and of New Ventures BC.


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