Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and FPInnovations are launching the first-ever “ARCTIC Challenge” in the forestry sector, which will elicit proposals from cleantech innovators on solutions to current environmental challenges in the sector. A potential challenge could focus on remote sensing solutions for conducting forest inventories. Remote sensing would not only reduce costs by up to 75% as well as lower the carbon emissions associated with traditional surveying, but will result in more precise data and enable more efficient operational planning before harvesting. Research has indicated that savings of up to $100 million/year for the B.C. forest sector could be realized.

Foresight’s ARCTIC program catalyzes and accelerates innovation in the resource sector, and leverages funding 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 funding and development program. Six months later, the expert panel will then select one finalist to receive additional funding for field testing.

“The ARCTIC program provides the essential seed money for innovative solutions to be unearthed,” said Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations. “Our partnership with Foresight also allows us to tap into a broader network of ideas and innovators, and we expect that the state-of-the-art solutions generated by the program will have application 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.”