Vancouver Enterprise Forum

The Evolution Of Cleantech; Brown To Green, In Partnership with NSERC, March 24th

  • 24 Mar 2015
  • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • VIFF's Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC)
  • 5


  • A $200 membership includes registration to 8 events during one year membership. Tickets are individual (holder only) and non-transferable.
    Guest tickets must be purchased separately.

Falling energy prices is great for Green Innovation: will collaborating to clean-up big industry be a booming opportunity? Already under pressure to clean up their act, cheap energy will lead to more production and free more dollars for innovation. Our panel will discuss the opportunities.

The event is brought to you in partnership with NSERC (Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada)

Moderated by Neil Huff, Managing Director at Foresight, panelists include:

Dr. Charles Haythornthwaite, ​Partner at Chrysalix
​Dr. Andrew Bamber, CEO & Founder ​at MineSense
​Dr. Martin Ordonez, Canada Research Chair for Power Converters for Renewable Energy Systems at ​UBC
Robert Mitchell, former VP Engineering at ConocoPhillips and Partner at PURE Reserve
Shirley Vickers, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at BCIC

Lightning Pitchers on the night include: Payso, Hydrogen in Motion, Avalon Battery Corp. OneFeather and Quini.

You can also hear from New Ventures BC about this year's competition along with their Seminar Series.  Paul Austin from SDTC will also join us to highlight that the application period is now open for their Tech and Natural Gas Fund.

Dr. Martin Ordonez is the Canada Research Chair in Power Converters for Renewable Energy Systems and an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. As well, an Adjunct Professor with Simon Fraser University and Memorial University of Newfoundland. 

His industrial experience in power conversion includes research and development at Xantrex Technology Inc./Elgar Electronics Corp. (now AMETEK Programmable Power), where he developed high-density power converters and advanced
controllers. He is the principal investigator of several power conversion grants and has developed partnerships with various companies in the sector. With the support of industrial funds
and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), he contributed more than 70 publications and R&D reports in the power area. 

Dr. Ordonez is an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, serves on several IEEE committees, and reviews widely for IEEE/IET journals and international
conferences. He was awarded with the David Dunsiger Award for excellence in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (2009), the Chancellor’s Graduate Award/Birks Graduate Medal (2006) and as a Fellow of the School of Graduate, Memorial University.

Bob is a partner in the Calgary-based energy technology commercialization partnership called PURE Reserve.

Until February 2015, Bob had been the Senior Director, Innovating for Sustainability in the Oil Sands Business Unit of ConocoPhillips Canada (CPC). When he joined CPC in 2007, Bob co-founded the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) and co-chaired its management committee for 5 years. OSLI was a collaborative of six companies committed to driving and accelerating environmental, social & economic performance improvement in the oil sands sector. At the end of 2012, OSLI was broadened to become the sector-wide organization called Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). At that time, Bob turned his attention to the development of an international consortium to develop and sponsor a global carbon incentive prize.

Bob has been helping organizations unlock their potential through innovation and collaboration for 25 years. At PURE Reserve, he’s focused on collaboration and open innovation to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the way we develop and produce energy. As part of this work, he’s been building strategic relationships with non-traditional allies in emerging technology areas like synthetic biology, local manufacturing, and “air capture”.

Prior to joining ConocoPhillips, Bob consulted on carbon capture and storage, bio-energy, oil sands development, collaboration and innovation. Prior to that, he spent 18 years as a senior manager in the Alberta government. While at Alberta Environment, he headed up the climate change unit that developed the first climate change regulations in the western hemisphere. In the mid-1990s, Bob led Alberta Energy’s oil sands policy group when they were designing and implementing the oil sands policy regime that would meet the shared objectives of the provincial government and the recommended objectives of the collaborative National Oil Sands Task Force.

Shirley Vickers is an entrepreneur with many years of experience building companies from the ground up. She has started, owned and managed several multi-million dollar oil and gas drilling companies and helped develop and commercialize drilling technologies that reduced costs, improved efficiencies and increased worker safety. 

As BCIC’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Shirley’s role is to identify and develop strategic initiatives and relationships of high value to BC technology entrepreneurs and innovators. Currently, she is developing a cross sector strategy within the resource sectors which connects industry problems with innovative "problem solvers".

Located in Vancouver, Chrysalix identifies potential transformational breakthrough technology and helps build high growth startup companies. The focus is sustainable innovation for energy intensive industries in transition (including oil and gas, mining and metals, and electric power). Chrysalix is regularly ranked one of the most active cleantech VC funds globally and has evolved a model of actively fostering close relationships with the blue chip industrials who desperately need these solutions or who can become channel partners to the market.

Before Chrysalix, Charlie had startup operating experience including roles such as VP Business Development and VP Product Marketing. He has a PhD in applied physics and an MBA from Berkeley where he was a Haas Venture Capital Fellow and a Sainsbury Management Fellow.

​Since founding MineSense in 2008, Andrew Bamber’s role has involved technology and product development and testing, operations management, as well as business development, corporate development and financing. 

He is a Professional Engineer, and member of the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineering Council of South Africa, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. Andrew holds the Douglas Hays’ Medal for Outstanding Research from the Institute of Mining Metals and Materials (IOM) of the United Kingdom, and was runner-up, Pacific Region, in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition in 2013. 

Andrew has over 20 years’ experience in mining projects and operations in Southern Africa, Kazakhstan, Canada and South America – as well as applied research and technology development both in Canada and Southern Africa. He has delivered successful projects in a range of roles including design professional, operations manager, project manager, technical consultant as well as research scientist.

Neil Huff is Managing Director of Foresight CAC, a not-for-profit Canadian Corporation funded by the BC Innovation Council in 2013. Foresight’s mandate is to help make Western Canada a world leader in the development of clean technology.

Prior to Foresight, he was co-founder and CEO of micro-fuel cell developer Tekion, working extensively with companies such as Energizer and Motorola in the development of portable power solutions for electronic devices. He was also CEO of Ballard Power’s lithium battery division, which he spun out of Ballard and which was subsequently purchased by Eagle Picher Energy Products. The company grew to a highly profitable division based in Surrey, BC with 350 employees providing lithium battery products in the military and medical sectors
Prior to Ballard, he spent 17 years in the automotive industry in senior management positions with companies such as Rockwell International, General Electric and Autosystems Manufacturing.

He has a Chemical Engineering degree from Queens University and an Executive MBA from the University of Toronto  

The Vancouver Enterprise Forum (VEF) is the premier networking forum for technology entrepreneurs. The VEF holds eight events each year - usually on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Participation at a VEF event provides attendees with personal connections, assistance with the identification of industry partnerships, academic faculty, management talent, financial agencies/investors and educational resources for developing and growing enterprises in British Columbia.

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