The Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program has awarded one-time funding of up to $400,000 to organizations with wide-ranging projects that focus on various aspects of fortifying B.C.’s manufacturing ecosystem.
After a successful application intake period, the B.C. government increased its initial $4-million investment to $6 million to allow more business groups to benefit from receiving a grant.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of our manufacturing sector for the critical made-in-B.C. goods it delivers and jobs it provides in every region of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This investment and partnership with business associations and communities strengthens our province’s supply chains, helps protect our industry sectors from external interruptions and helps B.C. manufacturers become even more globally competitive.”
The program was open to industry and trade associations, and groups of organizations collaborating on a manufacturing project, such as the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society. The society is teaming up with the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce and Ecotrust Canada to develop a food distribution network in northwestern B.C.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and put a sharp focus on B.C.’s reliance on imports of manufactured goods, packaging supplies and finished products.
Investments in B.C.’s supply chain will improve manufacturers’ productivity and protect jobs people and communities rely on.
For example, the BC Tech Association will use this investment to help manufacturing businesses understand emerging market opportunities in new sectors, map existing industrial capabilities and address how those could be retooled with advanced technology.
“The adoption of new technologies is vital for the continued growth of B.C.’s manufacturing sector,” said Jill Tipping, president and CEO, BC Tech Association. “With the support of our partners at the City of Surrey, City of Richmond and Township of Langley, our project will help to prepare manufacturers of all sizes to succeed in the years ahead.”
With its funding, the BC Food and Beverage Association will analyze the impact of supply-chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify best practices in addressing and adapting to supply-chain disruptions and develop a supply-chain guide that identifies barriers and solutions for the food and beverage sector.
“The pandemic exposed just how susceptible British Columbia is to unexpected interruptions to local and global supply chains,” said James Donaldson, CEO of the BC Food and Beverage Association. “This funding allows BC Food and Beverage to learn from the pandemic’s impact on our industry and help mitigate the effects of future disruptions.”
This program is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan and the Province’s commitment to an innovative, sustainable and inclusive recovery that supports people, businesses and communities to come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.
Brian Menzies, executive director, Independent Wood Processors Association of BC –
“This pandemic has further squeezed the uncertain supply of fibre that’s available to B.C.’s independent wood processors. With this grant, higher value-added wood manufacturers will be able to develop solutions to create more certainty, support investment in B.C. facilities, develop new products to take advantage of underutilized species such as hemlock, and sustain employment.”
- The Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program is part of the $16.25-million B.C. Supply Chain Resiliency and Value-Added Manufacturing project.
- The project includes the $10-million Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grants program, which provides cost-shared funding of up to $250,000 to eligible individual businesses or up to $500,000 to eligible groups of businesses working together on a project.
- The Province is also investing $250,000 to analyze ways to strengthen strategic B.C. supply chains to increase competitiveness and resiliency.
- There are more than 11,000 small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies in B.C., contributing $17 billion to the economy each year.
For more information on the Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grants, visit: https://bcmanufacturinggrant.ca/
For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Supply chain grant recipients, project summaries
The B.C. Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program has awarded a combined $6 million to 24 B.C.-based industry and trade associations and groups of companies working in collaboration to strengthen supply-chain resilience in B.C.’s manufacturing sector.
Grants range in value from $85,300 to $400,000.
The following are grant recipients and project descriptions:
Domtar Pulp Mill, with the BC Pulp & Paper BioAlliance: Develop a supply-chain strategy for bio-based replacements for petroleum-based packaging materials through three actions: confirm end-users and requirements; identify key supply-chain participants and their roles and develop a supply-chain strategy to determine the best way to supply industrial end users.
Atli Resources LP (the forestry arm of the ‘Namgis First Nation), with the Kwakiutl First Nation, FPInnovations, Paper Excellence, the Regional District of Mount Waddington and LinksEdge Ltd.: Project to overcome barriers creating under-utilized harvest residuals on northern Vancouver Island. This includes the development of a fibre supply chain model, validation to test model results and business case development.
BC Council of Forest Industries: Project includes informed development of a supply-chain roadmap, augmented by an inclusive engagement process, existing market information, industry data and subject matter expertise. This results in supply chain benchmarks, barriers and opportunities; digitalization opportunities along the full supply chain; and learning and opportunities from other jurisdictions.
BC Tech Association, with the City of Surrey, City of Richmond, and the Township of Langley: Pilot an industrial capabilities inventory, pilot the de-risking emerging market opportunities toolkit and hold a series of education seminars to support manufacturers to adopt technology.
BC Wood Specialties Group Association: Project supporting sector engagement of the supply chain for value-added wood manufacturers by sub-sector.
Construction Foundation of BC: Conduct research on the technology and training gaps that create barriers for local northern-based manufacturers to compete for work on major projects in the region.
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada-Pacific: Project to increase understanding for pandemic impacts on the current aerospace manufacturing supply chain, identify emerging opportunities and implement plans to strengthen the B.C. aerospace cluster.
Small Scale Food Processor Association: Create and implement an online marketplace with a support system that assists B.C. food and beverage producers, processors and institutional buyers to market, sell, purchase and distribute their products within the local food supply chain.
Williams Lake First Nation, with the Atlantic Power Corporation: Enable the purchase of equipment that will allow Williams Lake First Nation to turn raw product into a value-added product for the sale of energy generation and biomass fuel. These products are then turned into electricity. This enables Williams Lake First Nation to have a more sustainable and energy efficient supply chain.
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters-BC Division: Implement program activities in support of the Technology Assessment and Adoption Diagnostic Tool. These activities include training the facilitators, marketing the opportunity to B.C. manufacturers and implementation throughout the province. This tool will help enable manufacturers to make the right decision in relation to technology investments.
Krayden Canada, with Avcorp Industries: Enable the investment of equipment to allow for aerospace film cutting locally. The investment creates a local capability to store and cut aerospace adhesive film for use on aircraft spoilers, maintaining control of the supply in B.C. and increasing economic potential.
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, with Boundary Community Ventures Association, Magnum Meats Inc., Kirkaberry Farms and Kettle Valley Food Co-operative: This investment will allow for the creation of a marketing and distribution strategy for the Boundary Food Hub through three activities: hiring a distribution manager, developing a Boundary-wide food product brand and launching a distribution system.
Association of BC Marine Industries (ABCMI): Increase supply-chain resiliency in the marine sector through the implementation of the following activities: one-time funding for a research, development and commercialization project for a marine sector consortium; tailored supply-chain development training targeted to small and medium enterprises and to identify marine business integration opportunities; and an industrial marine sector roadmap in strategic, emerging areas of opportunity.
Natures Formulae Health Products Ltd., with Saje Natural Business Inc.: Enable additional warehouse capacity to allow the company to meet current supply chain demand for ingredients and packaging used to produce natural products, including hand sanitizer.
Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association: Development of a computer model that will identify value extraction opportunities to improve allocations of the available logs to the various manufacturing facilities in an area.
Inno Foods, with Foodverify Blockchain Inc., Maitri Health Technologies Corporation and Bacata Food Group Inc.: Enable the development of a fully functional blockchain supply-chain traceability solution called FoodVerify. This proposal relies on a technological solution for supply-chain issues and could potentially be applied across a multitude of sectors (food, personal protective equipment and other material goods).
AdvanTec Manufacturing Canada: Creation of certified laminated and fire-rated glass within B.C. that enables the local supply chain to deliver equipment at the specification needed for shipbuilding at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.
Independent Wood Processors Association of B.C.: Study and analyze the barriers and opportunities of processing value-added hemlock products in B.C., as well as analyze fibre-supply constraints that restrict opportunities for higher-value-added wood products.
Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada Ltd., with the Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd. and the University of Victoria: Design, test and certify battery packs for the manufacturing of electric and hybrid electric vehicles to expand sustainable economic opportunities in the supply chain for electric vehicles.
Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society, with the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce and Ecotrust Canada: Develop a food distribution network in northwestern B.C. by using a web platform that connects key players in this supply chain to build strong relationships. Research will be conducted by consulting key players in the food supply chain to understand how to best connect them within the region. A web platform will then be developed to showcase stakeholders in northern B.C.
Cowichan Green Community Society, with the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace: Enable the adoption of process improvement and efficiencies strategies to improve service delivery for Cowichan Green Community Society members to better support environmental sustainability and resiliency in their local food production and processing.
FPInnovations: Accelerate the development of key wood-based systems created and to be commercialized by B.C.-based companies. This includes the testing and certification of at least two novel B.C.-based building system concepts that are in demand by B.C.-based designers and builders.
Wood Pellet Association of Canada: Enable the development of a near-term strategy and actions to address logistical bottlenecks and supply-chain disruptions to rail shipping in Prince Rupert. The funding will enable the groundwork to examine increased track space through an environmental assessment.
BC Food and Beverage Association: Analyze the impact of supply-chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify best practices in addressing and adapting to supply-chain disruptions, assess feasibility of the proposed solutions and develop a supply-chain guide that identifies barriers and solutions for the food and beverage sector.