PacifiCan announces launch of new pilot aimed at helping B.C. businesses realize their growth ambitions

Small Business Canada

British Columbians are known for their entrepreneurial spirit. As B.C. businesses grow, they generate jobs, drive exports, and bolster the economy. However, many businesses with growth ambitions lack access to the critical supports they need to help them achieve their full potential.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) announced the launch of PacifiCan’s Business Acceleration Pilot. This pilot aims to increase the number of medium- and large-sized businesses operating in B.C. by working with partners to accelerate the growth of existing small- and medium-sized businesses.

The three-year pilot will provide PacifiCan funding to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to deliver tailored support to growth-oriented businesses. This includes providing them with access to the investment capital, customers and expert advice they need to grow. Through this pilot, PacifiCan and partner organizations will be responding directly to the needs of the businesses who are creating quality jobs in communities across British Columbia.

The application portal opens today on PacifiCan’s website and will close on December 14th, 2023. Organizations with the expertise and connections to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions are encouraged to visit the website to find out if they qualify and learn how to apply.

Minister Sajjan also announced over $3.6M in Business Scale-up and Productivity funding to help Lucent Bio increase its marketing capacity and optimize its manufacturing processes. This innovative B.C.-based company is pioneering climate-friendly, sustainable agriculture solutions.

Lucent Bio currently employs 43 people. With this funding, the company anticipates creating 27 new jobs and increasing annual revenue to $30M by 2026, 50% of which would be export sales.


“The Business Acceleration Pilot is designed to support ambitious small- and medium-sized businesses throughout B.C. that are ready to grow. Today’s announcement is reinforcing PacifiCan’s commitment to supporting these ambitious businesses by partnering with like-minded organizations committed to providing the tailored support they need.”

–       The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“The Business Scale-up and Productivity program is a game-changer for Lucent Bio, enabling us to scale up and commercialize our groundbreaking, environmentally-friendly seed coating products. With the construction of a new manufacturing plant in BC, we’re not only creating exciting new jobs in the emerging field of agritech but also taking a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions in agriculture. This initiative will enhance food security and climate resilience, making a lasting positive impact on our community and beyond. We’re thrilled to be part of this visionary endeavor that aligns perfectly with our mission to pioneer sustainable agriculture solutions.”

–       Michael Riedijk, CEO Lucent Bio

“Through PacifiCan, we’ve experienced firsthand the impact of successful government-industry collaboration in scaling our business and advancing our mission to create life-changing therapeutic products. Programs that connect all stakeholders are essential to catalyzing industry-wide growth and fortifying BC’s position as an innovative powerhouse in the global market.”

–       Tamer Mohamed, CEO of Aspect Biosystems

Quick Facts

  • The Business Acceleration Pilot or Biz A.P. will feature a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, including business accelerators, angel networks, Indigenous-led or owned organizations, industry associations, and consortia of eligible organizations.
  • PacifiCan encourages expressions of interest from organizations that will advance economic inclusion, including by serving high-growth potential businesses in rural and remote communities, and from underrepresented groups.
  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.
  • Lucent Bio has developed a patented technology that releases nutrients to the crops as required. Cellulose-bound nutrients are delivered to the crops in the same environmentally sustainable way as ecosystems that have evolved for thousands of years.
  • Aspect Biosystems is a Vancouver-based biotechnology company developing bioprinted tissue therapeutics designed to replace, repair, or supplement biological function inside the body. These implantable cell therapies are aimed at transforming the treatment of currently incurable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and liver disease.

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SOURCE Pacific Economic Development Canada

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