Metal Tech Alley Reaching Out to the World

Jul 7, 2021 | Story

Metal Tech Alley Reaching Out to the World

Kootenay based companies building global industrial supply chains

Metal Tech Alley, a project of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC) has brought together Kootenay based companies and professionals to facilitate a transition towards a circular economy.  Building the local economy while driving environmentally sustainability is the basis of the circular economy movement which strives to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, thereby eliminating waste and optimizing value from resources.

Early in the Metal Tech Alley initiative, $50,000 of grant funding from ETSI-BC (formerly Southern Interior Development Trust – SIDIT) and $500,000 from the Province’s, Rural Dividend Program, was combined with $347,700 from partner contributions to focus on connecting local metallurgical companies with those in the emerging tech industry to increase environmental sustainability.

Funding was provided to create professional sales and marketing tools including website creation, digital collateral pieces, an influential social media campaign, blogs, articles and visual entity creation in photo and video formats. Additionally, financial strategies were created through the consortium to assist partner companies in their growth, attraction of additional IIOT companies, and global commercialization efforts.  Success was realized as extractive industries were able to close the loop between mineral extraction, production, and recycling efforts involving the latest technologies.

Over the short duration of the inaugural program, partner organizations were able to make capital investments for facility improvement and equipment totaling $587,000.  Economic revenue of $893,000 was generated in the region through the addition of five IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) partners (four of them local companies, one from out of region). The initiative created sixteen new full-time, part-time, or temporary positions to assist in carrying out program objectives and assist in the creation of the $500,000 venture capital company fund.  ETSI-BC’s strategic focus to advance key sectors, support innovative research and stimulate commercialization was certainly realized in the development of the Metal Tech Alley initiative.

The success of the inaugural program generated national interest and has continued to grow and evolve to the international stage today. Metal Tech Alley has been the catalyst for a shared vision in the region and provided opportunities for program partners, including Fenix Advanced Materials, KAST, Selkirk College, STAC, and Teck Metals, to work together to build and expand their client base through focused commercialization.

Metal Tech Alley is effectively diversifying the “boom and bust” resource-based Kootenay economy by leading the circular economy movement and creating local opportunities in a global market.  

To date, the program has realized over $13,643,000 in investment to the region.  Metal Tech Alley has put the Kootenay region of British Columbia on the global map in bringing together specialized professionals and entrepreneurs in the metallurgy and advanced materials, digital fabrication, industrial recycling, cleantech and industrial IoT industries.