Genome BC Programs

Industry Innovation Program (I²)

The Industry Innovation Program (I²) provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies in British Columbia (BC). Life sciences includes the biological aspects of industry challenges in the key economic sectors of Agrifood, Energy, Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Health. The I² Program also supports digital health and other technologies that will further move the concept of precision medicine into clinical practice.

Funding from the I² program is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The program aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.

Companies must be beyond the research stage and should be in the commercial proof of concept or product development phase and have some formal ownership or control of the technology. Funded companies can be based outside of BC but must have a substantial project presence in BC typically defined as a number of employees residing in BC.

The amount of funding allocated by I² ranges from $100,000 to $1,500,000 per company, and is targeted to initiatives where a clear pathway to commercialization can be demonstrated. We will work with companies to help establish this pathway and link them to other stakeholders in the industry. Our early stage capital can take the form of debt, equity and royalties. We help companies establish near term milestones and a portion of funding may be tied to successful execution of these milestones and advanced in tranches. I² funds are repayable with repayments commencing no more than four years after disbursement.

Contact Pat Brady Director, Industry Innovation Programs for more information.

We’ve also prepared a list of frequently asked questions.

The first step is to submit an Executive Summary (max. 5 pages) of the business plan highlighting:

  • The company, team and BC-based activity
  • The technology/service and value proposition
  • The market opportunity
  • The commercialization plan
  • The financial requirements, prospective co-funders and risks involved

Once it is established that the company has a promising technology, a defined market and capable management, we execute a confidentiality agreement and invite the company to submit a full business plan and/or other form of presentation to Genome BC.

Assuming support of Genome BC, a formal due diligence process is conducted to determine the likelihood of commercialization and clearly establishing a pathway to success. A confidential third party review of the company’s technology, IP and/or market will often be performed at this time.

If a company is successful at this stage the next step is to reach agreement on a term sheet detailing:

  • Key financial terms
  • Repayment terms
  • Identification of commercialization milestones and tranche advancement requirements
  • Closing conditions, co-funding and target dates
  • Information rights

If significant gaps are identified during the due diligence process, funds will not be advanced but we will endeavour to point the company toward resources and partners that are able to help remedy the deficiencies.

Upon completion of diligence and the term sheet, the company will be asked to formally present to Genome BC’s Board of Directors who will make the ultimate investment decision. Board meetings and investment decisions are made quarterly.

Contact Pat Brady Director, Industry Innovation Programs for more information.

The goal is successful commercialization, industry growth, jobs, and economic impact for the Province of BC.  I2 funding repayments (principal plus an interest charge) commence four years after disbursement; or when the company achieves commercialization (generally defined as significant product/service revenues, revenues from licensing the technology, or the company achieves a significant financial milestone).

A royalty obligation is included through Genome BC’s I2 Program. The royalty agreement is structured so that Genome BC receives a low, single-digit royalty payment if the technology financed results in significant commercialization revenue. The cumulative royalty payments are normally capped at 2X the amount of the I2 funding. However, early repayment of the I2 funding within four years of disbursement will trigger reduction of the royalty cap to 1x.

The I2 Program Advisory Council is appointed by Genome BC from the business community at large. The Council makes recommendations about the opportunities and risks of potential investments and provides advice on current market conditions that may have an impact on proposed investments and/or the I2 program portfolio. The members include:

Dr. Tony Brooks – Chair

Chief Financial Officer and VP, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, Genome BC

Dr. Tony Brooks is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience in the life sciences, not for profit and public accounting environments. He leads our finance, HR, administration and Entrepreneurship and Commercialization areas.

Throughout his career, Tony has worked with both large and small life sciences companies and brings the vast knowledge he has gained to lead our Industry Innovation Program funding early stage start-ups. He believes in applying best practices, integrity and risk management to deliver high quality outputs. Tony is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He holds a PhD in developmental biology from the University of London, England and a BSc from the University of Reading.


Dr. Barb Kinnaird, CEO, Response Biomedical Corporation

Barb is currently the CEO of Response Biomedical Corporation, a Vancouver-based acute care diagnostics leader known for products that improve patient outcomes and support health reforms. A patent-holder and author of numerous academic publications, Barb is also an active leader in the global medical diagnostic community and a sought-after mentor to fellow CEOs. Since 2019, she has served as Chair of the Board of Acetech, a non-profit organization for leaders of companies innovating with technology.

Dr. Kinnaird holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia. She conducted her post-doctoral research at the Michael Smith Laboratories in genomics and gene expression profiling in collaboration with the B.C. Genome Sciences Centre while acting as a consultant for the Proteomics division of Incyte Genomics Inc. She continues to share her expertise in life sciences as an Advisor to Genome BC and Global Affairs Canada.


Don M. Enns, B.Sc., M.B.A.: CBO Nanovation Therapeutics Inc.

Don Enns has been a leader in British Columbia’s life sciences industry for over 35 years; most currently as Chief Business Officer at Nanovation Therapeutics Inc., a next generation gene therapy platform company with a focus on nucleic acid based nanolipid particle delivery. Prior to that, he lead Evonik’s global drug delivery business unit for three years which offered development and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical sector in over 50 countries. He has previously held executive positions at Transferra, Life Sciences BC, and Cantest Ltd., a former BC-headquartered global organization providing professional analytical and clinical services for the environmental, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food safety industries.

Don has been a director of numerous local for-profit companies as well as several non-profit organizations involved with national standardization, venture capital, trade, education, community affairs, public health and national research. He has overseen expansion into European and Southeast Asian markets; been responsible for merger and acquisition activity; and consulted for international agencies such as the UN Development Programme. He is currently managing director of Molecular You, CEO of Nanovation Capital, past co-Chair/director of Canada’s National Research Council’s Advisory Committee, Nanomedicines Innovation Network (NMIN), Genome British Columbia, the World Wildlife Fund of Canada among other organizations.


Nancy Harrison, P.Eng, MBA: Venture Partner, Amplitude Ventures

Nancy Harrison has over 25 years financing and building companies in the biotech industry. Since 2020, Nancy has been a Venture Partner with Amplitude Ventures, a full-stack life sciences venture capital firm focused on creating, building, and growing world-class Canadian precision medicine companies. From 2008 until 2017, Nancy was the President and co-founder of MSI Methylation Sciences Inc., a company with a focus on CNS.

Prior to MSI, Ms. Harrison was a Partner of Ventures West Management Inc. building the company from $70 million under management to $850 million. As one of the most experienced life sciences investors in the Canadian venture capital industry, she was instrumental in Ventures West’s involvement in the sector and with companies such as Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., AnorMed Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Sembiosys Genetics Inc., Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Celator Technologies Inc., and Alder Biopharmaceuticals. Ms Harrison has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from McGill University.


Paul Hemsley, B.Sc., M.B.A.: Co-Founder and Managing Director, Radiant Renewables

Paul Hemsley is an entrepreneur as well as an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) specialist with expertise in permitting major infrastructure projects.

In 2022, Paul co-founded and became a Managing Director of Radiant Renewables, a developer of solar, battery storage and other renewable energy projects in North America. Prior to Radiant, Paul was co-founder and President of Hemmera Envirochem Inc., a leading Canadian environmental consultancy. At its sale in 2017, Hemmera had more than 250 professional staff working in the service areas of permitting and approvals, environmental management, project management, and contaminated site remediation, as well as Indigenous engagement, consultation and negotiations.

Paul is a Director of Northwest Hydraulic Consultants and a Director of Phyto Organix Foods. Paul has a Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University and an MBA from Dalhousie University.


Scott Phillips B.A.Sc: CEO, StarFish Medical

Scott is the CEO and founder of StarFish Medical, the leading medical device development services firm in Canada with 200 employees in Victoria and Toronto and clients around the world, and also heads up the StarFish Group of companies. Earlier in his career he worked in diverse technology startups in lithium batteries, audio speakers, natural gas instruments, and dental equipment. He sits on various startup and not-for-profit boards including Life Sciences BC and Viatec. He is based in Victoria and holds a degree in Engineering Physics from UBC.


Tom Urban, ‎B.A., M.B.A.: Founder, Agribusiness Advisors

Tom began his professional career in investment banking with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1988. He subsequently spent 14 years in the agricultural seeds business with Pioneer Hi-Bred and E.I. DuPont de Nemours primarily in Eastern and Western Europe. In 2004, Tom left DuPont to join the early-stage forestry genetics company, CellFor, Inc. and served as CellFor’s CEO until 2012 when the Company was sold to ArborGen, the market leader in forestry genetics. Tom founded Agribusiness Advisors in 2013 to invest in and advise early-stage Ag-tech companies. Agribusiness Advisors has made over 30 investments to date including companies in precision farming, bio-pesticides, alternative proteins, Ag-robotics and irrigation. Tom also serves on multiple early-stage company Boards and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of British Columbia. Tom received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Michael Albin, Ph.D.:

Following a Ph.D. in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University and postdoctoral research in biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Michael worked at SYVA diagnostics followed by fifteen years at Applied Biosystems Inc. rising to the role of VP of Science and Technology, and then VP of Strategic Technologies of the parent company Applera Corp, an S&P 500 company.

As VP of Science and Technology at Applied Biosystems Inc. (now Life Technologies Inc.), Michael was responsible for R&D programs with a budget in excess of US$100 million and overseeing the development of the company’s product pipeline via internal development, investment and acquisition.

Michael currently focuses on Board seats or senior consulting roles to guide the growth of science-based companies.

We’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions.