On April 20, 2020, the Government of British Columbia tabled the 2021-2022 provincial budget ("Budget 2021"). Budget 2021 focuses on recovery from the economic harm inflicted on BC by the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes $3.25 billion in COVID-19 recovery spending. Recognizing that innovation generally, and clean technology specifically, are important to the Province's economic future, Budget 2021 invests significantly in both.
More particularly, Budget 2021 allocates $500 million to support the launch of the InBC Strategic Investment Fund, which is a new fund designed to support promising BC companies as they scale up to become the next generation of BC anchor companies. The InBC fund will be used to invest in "high growth potential firms, growing and anchoring talent, intellectual property, innovation, [and] investment and jobs in B.C.". Investment decisions will be made independently of the Government, but will take into account governmental priorities such as the desire to move towards a greener economy.
Budget 2021 also earmarks an additional $506 million for the CleanBC Program, designed to help the Province achieve its legislated climate targets. This $506 million brings total funding for the CleanBC Program to nearly $2.2 billion over five years.
Additional clean technology-related expenditures in Budget 2021 include $60 million to support the Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy, which will support development and commercialization of clean technology in BC; investing to expand the use of electric buses and ferries; and continued support for mass timber technologies.
In sum, Budget 2021 invests significantly in BC's economic recovery, and recognizes innovation and clean technology as important drivers of that recovery. This echoes themes we wrote about in an earlier article on BC innovation, and complements the recent federal budget's $165 million collective investment in ElevateIP and the NRC IRAP program.
For more information on protecting your technology in BC using any of these programs, please contact Roch Ripley. To learn more about protecting your cleantech innovations, visit our cleantech topics page to access videos, webinars and toolkits that will give you the tools needed to harness the full potential of your valuable intangible assets.