Technical Assistance to Small and Medium-Sized Companies in British Columbia

(This funding is now closed.)

Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) is offering financial support for projects that aim to diagnose technical challenges of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and identify potentials for innovative solutions. The projects are also expected to bring new multidisciplinary university-industry partnership opportunities for both short and long-term research and development activities.

Proposal submission: January 15, 2019.

Funding availability: A maximum of $5,000 per project, plus fieldwork travel support for researchers if applicable. In-kind contribution from SMEs is required. Direct costs of a project beyond the above support limit may be covered by the company.

For small and medium sized enterprises:
• Must be a Canadian or provincially incorporated business.
• Must have less than 500 employees.
• Must be for-profit.
• Must be located in British Columbia (BC).

For supporting researchers:
• Given the multidisciplinary focus of MMRI, it is required that a minimum of two faculty members work with the SME in each proposal. At least one of these faculty members must be from UBC, either Point Grey or Okanagan Campus. The second faculty member can be from UBC or external organizations.
• Only one project is allowed per faculty member and one project per SME.

Project information:
• Projects must have relevance to materials science and manufacturing technologies and aim to solve SME-specific technical challenges.
• The latest time to start a project is January 15, 2019 and it can last between 1-2 months.
• During the course of each project, the MMRI Research Engineer will work with industry delegates and university teams to maximize their interaction, e.g., by inviting industry delegates to the research meetings and observing students experiments/progress, and facilitating students access to industry facilities if applicable. To maximize interaction with SMEs, the research students will be highly encouraged to spend at least one day a week at the company location while executing the project. A travel cost support will also be provided when applicable.
• Eligible costs under each project may include salary of research assistants in the labs, material purchase, laboratory fees, machine shop fees, software license, field travel, etc. towards the execution of the approved SME-specific project.

Submission instructions:
• The application form must be filled out and submitted by the above deadline on the MMRI website.
• If the SME has not identified any faculty members to collaborate for the project, or the faculty members have an applied project topic at hand that can benefit SMEs but do not have a partner yet, please contact Dr. Mahdi Takaffoli, MMRI Research Engineer ( to facilitate the match-making process.

Review criteria:
Proposal reviews will be based upon the following criteria:
• Eligibility of the industry partner as a client of National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP): Canadian or provincially incorporated, less than 500 employees, and for profit. In addition, the company must be located in BC.
• Significance of the project to the SME.
• Intellectual merit of the proposal, including relevance to materials and manufacturing.
• Multidisciplinary aspect of the project, including collaboration among researchers from different disciplines.
• Appropriateness of the requested budget for supporting the proposed research plan.

• Details of project expenses must be sent to MMRI at the end of each project by faculty members (an invoice template will be provided by MMRI).
• Students/research assistants in each project, under mentorship of MMRI Research Engineer and supervision of leading faculties, will be required to complete a technical report (template to be distributed). This report will be submitted to the SME contact person and will also be the basis of potential follow-up joint grant applications towards continued collaboration of the research team with the partnering SME. MMRI will closely assist the SME and the research team for pursuing these follow-up long-term partnership opportunities.
• Funding will be issued to the research faculty accounts after the final report has been submitted, and the invoice is received.

Please direct any inquiries to:
Mahdi Takaffoli, MMRI Research Engineer
Phone: (250) 807-9108

Awarded Projects

Manufacturing Process Analysis of Supercapacitors for Wholesale Grid

Atlas Power Generation, Mission, BC
Dr. Jian Liu, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Ammonia Recovery from Wastewater Effluent

Boost Environmental Systems, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Jongho Lee, Civil Engineering, UBC

Design of Clipless Pedal for Chromag

Chromag, Whistler, BC
Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Upcycling Brewers’ Spent Grains (BSG) from Vancouver-based Breweries into Value-added Products

Craft Grains, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Anubhav Pratap Singh, Land and Food Systems, UBC

Eliminating Bacterial Build-Up on High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Tubes

Earth Tube Systems, Kelowna, BC
Dr. Kevin Golovin, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Data-Driven Tool Wear Monitoring in Machining of Carbon Fiber Reinforced

Manufacturing Automation Laboratories, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Xiaoliang Jin, Mechanical Engineering, UBC

Lignin Utilization in Direct Reduction of Nickel and Iron from Laterite Ores

NORAM Engineering and Constructors, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Leili Tafaghodi , Materials Engineering, UBC

Lab-and Field-scale Biodegradability Assessment of Pela Case Products for
Environmentally Friendly End-of-Life Management

Pela, Kelowna, BC
Dr. Cigdem Eskicioglu, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Testing Biocompatibility and Performance of New Dental Implant Crown Materials

Perfit Dental Solutions, Kelowna, BC
Dr. Sepideh Pakpour, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Assessing the Feasibility of 3D Printed Protective Stents for Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Therapy

Schell Dental Ceramics, Kelowna, BC
Dr. Abbas Milani, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Nanocellulose Membrane with Tunable Shape and Permeability for EVR Applications

Core Energy Recovery Solutions, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Feng Jiang, Wood Science, UBC

Cloud Technology Enabled Digital Twin Framework for Next-Generation Manufacturing and Asset Management

Infocube Technology , Vancouver, BC
Dr. Zheng Liu, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Exploring Enhanced Composting Methodologies for PLA and Related Biodegradable Polymers

Recycling Alternative, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Parisa Mehrkhodavandi, Chemistry, UBC

Building a Case for a Living Lab Concept on the UBCO Campus for Developing Solar Pathway and Solar Roadway Technology

Solar Earth Technologies , Vancouver, BC
Dr. Thomas Johnson, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

AC Moulding Vinyl Nosing Assembly Machine

AC Moulding, Millwork & Finishing, West Kelowna, BC
Dr. Jahangir Hossain, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

An Investigation into the Impact of Local Ingredients on Properties of Hempcrete

HempWorks Canada, Kelowna, BC
Dr. Shahria Alam, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan

Initiative supported in part by: