Brandon Greenall with his Pop Can Solar Heater

Calling all innovative ideas

The Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics holds its Northwest Innovation Challenge again this year with $10,000 in prizes

The Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE) holds its Northwest Innovation Challenge again this year with $10,000 in cash prizes.

Last year’s winner is working on making his product available for others. And many other winners used the contest as a springboard to further their ideas.

We actually followed up with all the winners to see what happened with their ideas, and while none have gone to commercial market, a few have progressed in different ways,” says Sarah Artis on behalf of SNCIRE.

Brandon Greenall won first prize last year for his Pop Can Solar Heater project. When SNCIRE asked what he’d been up to since the contest, he had a lot to share.

Shortly after the competition, I was approached by a member of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition who is responsible for teaching seminars and coming up with ideas for improving energy efficiency of people’s homes and the community,” said Greenall. “He was very interested in the pop can solar heater idea, and we have been working closely planning workshops and educational seminars in which community members can come learn, construct, and operate their own solar heaters for home usage (as well as producing some units for local non-profit organizations). We hope to begin these early spring of 2015!

As for the prize money, I plan on using it for my new energy efficiency project for next year’s Canada Wide Science Fair or even another Innovation Challenge? The remainder will be put away for my post secondary education as it’s right around the corner! Once again, thank you so much for this awesome opportunity!”

Naomi and Carmen of Ms. Fitz Saddle Bags bought a 33 acre property in Smithers, where they hope to start a bed and breakfast horse ranch business with a shop that will sell their leather work designs, said Artis.

While Giuliana and Christine did not pursue their Project Hlaana herbal water idea, they were both motivated to start their own businesses in other areas, she said. Giuliana is opening a bakery and Christine is looking into starting a guided boat tour business in Gwai Haanas National Park, she said.

Mike Sorochan, who presented the lightweight collapsible backcountry ski, is now working for himself, building and designing all sorts of stuff for local people and businesses: signs, outbuildings, store racks, etc, she said. Claire was only in Grade 9 when she competed and won, so she says she is focusing on finishing high school for now, said Artis.

Everyone in northwest B.C. is invited to enter this year’s contest. The submission deadline is midnight April 20. See sncire.ca for more details, including the applicant information package and forms.