SFU clean tech innovations to be featured at Surrey Expo
Originally published by SFU News
Simon Fraser University will showcase its latest innovations in clean energy as part of the Greater Vancouver Clean Technology Expo and Championship at Surrey City Hall on Sept. 28.
SFU is a co-sponsor of the event, which celebrates the best of what B.C. has to offer on the clean energy front. It’s also Western Canada’s largest dedicated pitch competition and more than 30 companies—some SFU startups among them—will compete for the title of “CleanTech Champ,” and a prize of $10,000, courtesy of Vancity Credit Union.
The event runs from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and will feature Clean Tech on the Plaza, where visitors can check out the SFU Innovation Pavilion, the Surrey SmartZone, and the Cleantech Alliance Pavilion. Visitors can even test-drive a clean energy vehicle, like the BMW 1-8, and the new fuel cell-powered Hyundai Tucson SUV.
Who should attend the event?
The event is free and open to the public. SFU Surrey students and the campus community are encouraged to visit Surrey’s City Hall Plaza throughout the day.
What activities are planned?
Visitors can walk through the plaza and check out the latest in clean energy innovation and how it is changing society. There are also seminars by industry leaders: Reaching new heights through better buildings(10:30 – 12 noon) and Feeling the Burn: financing challenges in clean technology (1 – 2:30 pm).
Meanwhile 32 companies are “pitching” to be named event championship. The finalist selection goes from 10 am – 12 noon in the City Hall atrium with a final round (closed to the public) in the afternoon.
What are some examples of SFU innovation highlights?
The SFU Innovation Pavilion will feature a wide range of exhibits from faculty researchers as well as students, including several capstone projects designed in the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE).
Visitors can view technology that makes vehicles run cleaner and smarter, next generation wireless ‘super sensors’ for greenhouses, 3-D printed batteries for clean technology, intelligent garbage sorting bins for homes, a retrofitable smart home project and a beehive monitoring system aimed at restoring the declining bee population, among others.
In addition there will be exhibits on SFU’s ongoing work with Ballard Power Systems on fuel cell lifespan testing and related research with other industry partners.
SFU's 4D Labs will showcase how the lab has enabled academic and industry tech clients to turn their ideas into innovation, bringing numerous ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.
The Faculty of Environment's Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team (START), which conducts research related to sustainable shifts in the region's transportation systems, will also be on site.
Are SFU-related companies competing in the event championship?
WaterGenics, led by SFU professor Majid Bahrami, is among competitors. The company has developed a solar-powered hybrid atmospheric water generation (HAWGen) system that enables harvesting clean water from the atmosphere, virtually anywhere. Bahrami is also the recipient of a 2017 Canada Clean50 Award(his second) for his sustainable water research.
Others include Ionomr, a spinout from SFU’s chemistry department, which locally manufactures high performance, durable anion-exchange membranes. Anion-exchange membranes drive the performance of many clean technology innovations in the energy storage and water treatment sectors.
Headed by SFU PhD student Benjamin Britton, Ionomr is among finalists for the NewVentures BC Prize (winner to be announced Sept 26), the biggest competition for startups in B.C., and a client of SFU Venture Connection.
Velometro, co-founded by SFU Beedie School alumnus Kody Baker, will also be on the competition stage. A former Venture Connection client, Velometro is producing an alternative mode of sustainable transport—a cross between a car and a bicycle called Veemo—and will also have a demo track set up in the plaza.