BCIC Ignite Award Winner: Selkirk College and Advanced BioCarbon 3D

BCIC Awards $300,000 to Koots Innovation: New Biodegradable 3D-printing Filament

BCIC Ignite Award Winner: Selkirk College and Advanced BioCarbon 3D

Koots innovation awarded $300,000!

The BC Innovation Council (BCIC), a Crown agency helping propel innovation development and adoption in British Columbia, has announced the winners of its fourth BCIC Ignite Awards. A record total of $990,000 was awarded to four BC research projects that aim to solve industry problems in the natural resources and applied sciences.

BCIC Ignite provides funding to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences sectors in British Columbia. The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.

One of the innovative projects awarded is doing incredible work right here in the Koots!

Darrel Fry, CEO of Advanced BioCarbon 3D, and Jason Taylor of Selkirk College were awarded $300,000 to develop a new type of 3D-printing filament from 100% biodegradable, engineering grade plastics and carbon fiber derived from lignin, which are the natural glue-like fibres found inside of wood.

Advanced BioCarbon 3D is an advanced materials company specializing in bi0degradable plastics and carbon fibers.  Looking to come up with a solution for the over-abundance of plastics used, and inevitably, polluting the earth on such an incredible scale, Advanced BioCarbon 3D creates product, engineering grade and 100% biodegradable.

In partnership with Jason Taylor and Selkirk College, the research project is focused on creating a new 3D printing filament to address the pressing issue of excessive plastics in 3D printing and manufacturing.

“Academic and industry partnership is important for us because it provides the opportunity for our students to keep ahead of the curve.  It gives us the access to what industry is doing and really gives us the opportunity to share our knowledge with industry to provide a wold standard in the fields that we are working towards.”

Congratulations, Darrel and Jason!






Follow the MIDAS Fab Lab on Instagram

Follow the MIDAS Fab Lab on Instagram! #madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Follow the MIDAS Fab Lab on Instagram

We are looking to get the word out further about all the possibilities available at the MIDAS Fab Lab.

With so much going on at MIDAS, great courses and programs, it was time to jump into the popular visual social sharing app to give followers another way to find us and keep up to date with everything that’s coming up and all that’s being achieved in this state-of-the-art fabrication lab and maker space.

Makers, innovators, inventors, small businesses… it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’ve got a great idea, the range of learning and making opportunities at MIDAS can help you bring it to reality!

Courses, workshops, news, innovation, inspiration – follow us on Instagram!

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake




KAST Talent & marketing Manager

Wanted: Administrative Coordinator MIDAS Fab Lab

Hiring MIDAS Administrative CoordinatorMIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration & Studies) is a project of the Kootenay Association for Science & Technology (www.kast.com). MIDAS offers the best “FAB”rication equipment available in the Kootenays for public, academic & commercial use. The building is a newly renovated accessible space with state of the art, enterprise-level equipment and training on that equipment including: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching and co-working space and more.

Main responsibilities of the MIDAS Administrative Coordinator will be to provide support to the Lab Director, and to provide exceptional customer service to MIDAS members, potential members, the general public and our commercial clientele.  On a day-to-day basis, you will be expected to ensure the website, social media, training and operations calendars are updated, member information is accurate and current, assist with FabLab inquiries as needed, monitor lab usage, update and maintain all documents and manuals, ensure safety procedures are followed immaculately, and other operational duties as required. To achieve this, you will be working as part of a progressive team. You will be working at the FabLab reception desk.

Requirements and Qualifications: KAST is looking for a creative and motivated individual with confidence, judgement, flexibility, a desire to learn, a love of detail and a sense of humour. You will need to be outgoing and provide a high level of service while remaining professional and discreet.  You will have preferably completed post-secondary education and will have a minimum of 5 years of customer service/office management experience.  You will have demonstrated time management and organization skills, and adore detail and other forms of geekery. You will be willing to work flexible hours from Monday-Friday.  You will be at the front line at MIDAS, and you will be ready at any given moment to switch tasks multiple times throughout the day to accommodate the needs of members, the Lab Director, and other operational staff at the facility. That said, we’re super fun. Promise!

Hours per week: 40
Hourly rate ($): $19
Salary ($): $39,520
Closing date: May 24, 2017
To Apply: Email info@kast.com with resume and cover letter. No calls please.
New ways to benefit from new technologies

New Ways To Benefit From New Technologies

New ways to benefit from new technologiesMedia Release~

With new technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners and computer numeric control (CNC) machines beginning to hit the mainstream, it is easier than ever for businesses to benefit from their use.

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, “New technologies are giving businesses more and more opportunities to grow, and it is important that there are people ready to step into jobs to do just that. I’m excited for the findings of this study, which will give us more information on what we can do to better prepare the workforce to meet the coming demand.”

Finding employees who are trained to use that technology is the difficult part, as is figuring out how new technology can fit into business plans. But the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is set to learn more about what can be done to fill that gap. Through a new study, KAST plans to identify skills gaps and training opportunities in the Kootenay metallurgical and manufacturing industries thanks to more than $26,000 in government funding.

KAST is a non-profit organization that offers business-development services such as coaching, expertise, training, and development projects to stimulate the growth of applied science and technology entrepreneurship.

Through their Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS) centre and interviews of at least 40 local businesses, KAST plans to find new ways to train job seekers on these new technologies, while giving businesses a better idea of how new technologies can help grow their operations.

Amber Hayes, MIDAS project director, Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies, “We will be determining the technical skills and knowledge level our local industry requires. Research and future programing analysis will be completed via the new MIDAS Fab Lab team and regional partners Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute and Selkirk College. This initiative will support local business and employment, and elevates our community in its understanding and leveraging of technology to its benefit. We are excited to receive the Labour Market Partnership funding to survey our local industry and begin this valuable process.”

Government funding will help KAST report on specific training needs from local employers in the advanced manufacturing and metallurgical sectors and create a strategy for delivering those needs.

It is a study aimed at creating better opportunities for people in the Kootenays to gain a foothold in B.C.’s growing technology sector while helping businesses reach their full potential.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding for the project is provided through Labour Market Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and shares labour market information.

Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.

The project aligns with the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.

In partnership with the BC Innovation Council, the province is hosting B.C.’s second #BCTECH Summit, March 14-15, 2017, with made-in-B.C. tech innovations, thought-provoking keynotes and outstanding networking opportunities. To register or learn more, go to: http://bctechsummit.ca/

Quick Facts:

  • MIDAS is an applied research, commercialization and digital fabrication training facility in Trail focused on the metallurgical sector in the region surrounding the Teck Trail Operations smelter.
  • In 2016-17, the Ministry of Social development and Social Innovation has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
  • The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
  • Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
    • Job Creation Partnerships
    • Labour Market Partnerships
    • Project-Based Labour Market Training
    • Research and Innovation
    • Social Innovation

Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?

  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Crown corporations
  • Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
  • First Nation bands/tribal councils
  • Public health and educational institutions

Learn More:

Learn more about the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology: www.kast.com

For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP

Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca

Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi

For more information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/

For more information about the #BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca

Learn more about the #BCTECH Summit coming in March 2017: http://bctechsummit.ca


Originally posted at BC Gov News.

HERE Partner Jason Taylor, Selkirk College Applied Research

Are you in need of design, prototyping or digital fabrication to take your idea or business to the next level?

Jason Taylor is the man to help!

Jason is the Chair of Selkirk College’s School of the Arts, most recently appointed to conduct applied research in Digital Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping.

Jason Taylor is building dreams in 3D

A true maker, specializing in digital fabrication and rapid prototyping, he builds machines for individuals and businesses looking for specialty equipment or prototyping an idea.   Jason brings the skills, experience and tools available to mill, machine or and print almost any material.

Jason is a valued HERE partner and his work with clients enrolled in the Venture Accelerator Program (VAP) has brought his knowledge and expertise to several businesses in the region.

A client brings the concept, idea or need and Jason makes brings it to reality.  He can provide design insight or get down to prototyping, depending on the client’s requirements.  The VAP program has allowed Jason to help clients with everything from digital printing for the dental industry to building drones. In addition to serving clients looking for digital fabrication and prototyping services, he also consults with regional resident gurus. He offers discussion, guidance and, generally, keeping them up to speed with the latest in fabrication and prototyping innovations.

From Selkirk College to MIDAS, Jason Taylor is promoting maker innovation

The new MIDAS lab in Trail is also a beneficiary of Jason’s skills, experience and talents.  The partnership between Selkirk College and MIDAS provides the opportunity for him to share his in-depth knowledge about the processes and machinery, training staff, volunteers and participants to the variety of milling, machining and fabrication equipment making up the new lab.

Jason has over 16 years of teaching, managing and program development at Selkirk and continues to push his faculty, students and peers in new and challenging directions.

MIDAS Memberships & Training Available

highlight-fablabWith the MIDAS Lab opening, Kootenay industrial innovation is about to enjoy a welcome kickstart!

A variety of training courses and memberships are now available for online purchase/registration to make this unique Trail facility accessible to makers and companies around the region.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee, company, startup or student – if you have an interest in digital fabrication, advanced manufacturing and/or metallurgical technology you can now have access to the $400,000+ of brand new, enterprise-level equipment.

MIDAS makes the tools of innovation accessible

MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies),  is an applied research, commercialization and digital fabrication training facility in Trail.  It is focused on the local metallurgical sector surrounding the Teck Trail Operations smelter and makes recent advances in manufacturing technology (including 3D Printing) accessible to West Kootenay companies, entrepreneurs and students.

As recently explained by MIDAS Lab Director Brad Pommen, “Someone may walk in the door with an idea and not know where to go next with it.  We’re here to help them figure that out, whether it’s access they need, or tools.  We’re here to spur innovation.”

The goal of the MIDAS Lab

At the heart of the MIDAS vision is to provide the tools and space to inspire and facilitate innovation in the Kootenays.  The MIDAS Lab has several key objectives:

  • Support entrepreneur development and the commercialization of applied, market-relevant research in the metallurgic and advanced manufacturing industries.
  • Expand local small and medium-sized companies’ strengths in collaborating, adopting technology, and creating new and marketable products.
  • Promote skills training opportunities in digital fabrication and metallurgical technology for entrepreneurs, company personnel and students.

MIDAS courses to suit all levels

The MIT-certified digital fabrication laboratory, or “Fab Lab”, and metallurgy-specific equipment provided by Fenix Advanced Materials sets the foundation to offer public access to state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities.

MIDAS courses are designed to help familiarize the user with the “Fab Lab” and provide the appropriate training to get the most out of the facility and its equipment based on your specific needs and requirements.

Competency courses are required to allow use of the equipment.  1-3 hours in length, these sessions get you using the equipment you require for your project.  Competency courses do NOT include how to complete unique projects.

Workshop/Project courses are 3-6 hour sessions providing competency certification where you use one or more pieces of equipment and create something or learn a more advanced skill with the equipment.

Corporate courses are designed for company or academic organizations that want to bundle certain skills/training together.

MIDAS Membership

Do you participate in a discipline that includes manufacturing, repairing, modifying, making, creating, prototyping, building, engineering or the arts?  If so, commercial membership is open to your company, startup or member company employees. Individual memberships for makers and inventors are also available.

MIDAS is NOT intended for high volume production runs but rather for prototyping, custom work and short runs in order to market-test.

MIDAS offers commercial membership bonuses:

  • Use the space in the morning when General Members do not have access
  • Use of business spaces: video conference system, co-work space and boardrooms

There are a variety of membership programs available, please click HERE for details.


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