WorkSafeBC Home

Applied Innovation

Applied Innovation and Proof of Principle and Prototyping competitions are now open.

The Letter of Intent is due January 13, 2023, at 4 p.m. PST.

Do you have an idea that could help improve workplace health and safety?

Some of the best solutions start with simple ideas. An Applied Innovation research grant can help you develop your idea into a solution that makes a difference in the workplace.

Our Applied Innovation grants support research projects that lead to the development of practical solutions to address workplace health and safety and recovery and return-to-work issues that align with our research priorities.

Applied Innovation

Applied Innovation (formerly known as Innovation at Work) grants support research projects that solve workplace problems and include projects that develop or apply knowledge and insights to address workplace health and safety issues and/or engage in knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) activities.

An Applied Innovation project may seek to understand why and how things occur, evaluate interventions that seek to achieve positive change, or apply evidence directly to the workplace. For example, worker training evaluations, development of interventions to support return-to-work, or examining sex and gender. 

Proof of Principle and Prototyping

Proof of Principle and Prototyping is a funding stream within Applied Innovation dedicated to research that may lead to novel tools, products, and technology that can be implemented in the workplace to improve health and safety for a broad audience of workers, employers, and workplaces. These grants enable researchers to advance novel inventions forward, towards solutions that would make real improvements for workers, employers, and WorkSafeBC.

A Proof of Principle and Prototyping project must be in the early stages of development — it can include proof of principle or concept, analytic studies, laboratory studies, concept validation or validation of tools and technology in a laboratory or field setting. Research activities might include developing, refining, and implementing designs, verifying application, conducting field studies, preparing demonstrations, building prototypes, performing beta testing, and conducting efficacy or safety trials.

Ideal projects are not so advanced that the tool or technology is ready for commercialization. The Government of Canada’s Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) scale is used to determine the maturity level of a technology. TRLs are based on a scale from 1 to 9, with 9 being the most technologically mature. Proof of Principle and Prototyping projects must fit within levels 1 to 6 of the TRLs.

Examples of suitable projects include research to support the development of job-specific personal protective equipment (PPE), mobility aids for injured workers, or direct reading tools for exposures.

Who can apply

Any Canadian resident can apply, including workers, employers, and academic researchers. All applicants must propose research topics that align with our research priorities.

Please note the following additional eligibility requirements:

  • Academic researchers who are affiliated with a college, university, or research institution may apply but require industry member collaborations or a non-academic partner on the research team.
  • Full-time employees of WorkSafeBC are not eligible to apply as principal applicants, however, they may participate as co-applicants.

Funding and duration

Applied Innovation grants are up to $50,000, for a duration of 12 months.

Proof of Principle and Prototyping grants are up to $100,000, for a duration of 24 months.

Multiple grants will be awarded each year.

All standard terms and conditions apply to projects funded through Research Services. Please see the Funding conditions for details.

Funding opportunities 

Important dates:

Competition launch: November 18, 2022

Letter of Intent due: January 13, 2023, at 4 p.m. PST

Required forms:

Applicants must submit a two-page Letter of Intent (LOI). Please complete either the Applied Innovation or the Proof of Principle and Prototyping LOI accordingly. After our review and selection process, applicants with successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full application. Please review the LOI for submission instructions.

Resources:

Please contact Research Services if you have any questions about the application process or to discuss your research ideas. You can also sign up to receive automatic email notifications to be notified when we post new funding opportunities.

Recently funded projects

These projects were funded under the former Innovation at Work grant competition.

Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Paul Amyotte Integrating process safety management into Canadian wood pellet facilities that generate combustible wood dust
Dalhousie University $50,000
Aviroop Biswas
Examining sex/gender differences in exposures to workplace-acquired communicable disease: A systematic review
Institute for Work & Health $50,000
Ron Corbeil Hazard identification research and training for hand fallers - pilot
Safety Advisory Foundation for Education and Research (SAFER) $48,800
Adam Rysanek
DAVE: Digital twin for air quality and ventilation evaluation
University of British Columbia $50,000
Leigh Blaney Firefighter Edge: Game-based resilience education for firefighters
Vancouver Island University $50,000
Amy Salmon
Reducing the long-term collateral effects of COVID-19 and pandemic response measures among staff in long term care homes in Vancouver
University of British Columbia
$49,975
Thomas Tenkate
Enhancing support for supervisors to improve the health and safety of at- home workers
Ryerson University
$50,000
Sherri Ferguson
Use of dive computers in occupational diving
Simon Fraser University
$50,000




Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Thomas Tenkate eCHAP-Risk: Chemical risk assessment software tool for SMEs
Ryerson University $50,000
Florriann Fehr &
Michelle Seibel
Cognitive research training as an anti-bullying intervention for nursing students and new nurse graduates - Part 2
Thompson Rivers University $14,557
John Madden Smart Sheet: A tactile sensor array for the prevention of pressure ulcers
University of British Columbia $50,000
Jackie Ellis &
Chun Yip Hon
Change Management Process: The Introduction of Closed System Drug Transfer Devices to Reduce Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs in the healthcare industry
Ryerson University $50,000
Joseph Puyat Reducing burnout and caregiving stress among interdisciplinary staff in long term care
University of British Columbia $49,997
Paul Amyotte Inherently safer bow ties for dust hazard analysis
Dalhousie University $50,000

Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Ron Corbeil Energy Absorbing Cab Guards for Log Trucks
View report
SAFER $42,747
Aziz Ghahary Liquid Skin Substitute for Pressure Ulcers in Spinal cord Injury Patients University of British Columbia $72,000
Vicki Kristman Tradeswomen: Potential Concerns of Bullying, violence & Harassment in BC & Alberta
View report
Lakehead University $50,000
Hugh Davies Antineoplastic Drug handling and Potential for Inadvertent Exposure among Veterinarians
View report
University of British Columbia $50,000
Cheryl Peters Tailored Sun Safety Messages for Outdoor Workers
View report
Alberta Health Services $50,000
Byron Gates Enhanced Surface Sampling for Assessing and Mitigating Workplace Exposures
View report
Simon Fraser University $48,800
Chad Shipmaker Developing a Resource Road Driver Alert System
View report
Valid manufacturing Ltd. $50,000
Bernadette Quemerais Metals in Exhaled breath Condensates as Markers of Exposure to Welding Fumes
View report
University of Alberta $49,355

Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Arif Jetha Strengthening RTW communication in B.C.'s healthcare sector
View report
Institute for Work & Health $49,838
Daniel Robinson Upper body protection for arborists
View report
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Wilson School of Design $44,200
Byron Gates Detection kits with enhanced sensitivity for heavy metal contaminants
View report
Simon Fraser University $106,000
Leigh Blaney Building resilience in volunteer firefighters
View report
Vancouver Island University $16,089
Darren Brenner A compendium of policy and practice to reduce exposure to antineoplastic drugs in pharmacies
View report
University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine $49,775
Mona Shum Fog in the film industry and health effects
View report
Aura Health and Safety Corporation $50,000
Greg Anderson Building personal resilience and coping skills in BScN nursing students
View report
Justice Institute of British Columbia $49,612
Heather Cooke Examining incivility and bullying in long-term residential care
View report
University of British Columbia, School of Nursing $47,950
Sandra Dorman Evaluating an intervention for psychosocial risk factors in wildland firefighters and staff
View report
Laurentian University, Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) $49,510

Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Hans-Joachim Wieden Development of EMS pathogen detection tools using next generation sequencing
View report
University of Lethbridge, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry $50,000
Monique Mayer Dose to the Lens of the Eye in Veterinary Workers Performing Diagnostic Radiology Procedures
View report
University of Saskatchewan, Small Animal Clinical Services $37,115
Carolyn Sparrey Feet First: Instrumented Insoles to Examine Workplace Injury Risk
View report
Simon Fraser University $49,840
Mamdouh Shubair Improving the Health, Safety and Wellness of Long-Haul Truck Drivers through Research on Best Practices in Integrated Health Protection and Promotion Programs
View report
University of Northern British Columbia $49,050
Zoe Hilton PTSD and help-seeking among psychiatric workers: Workplace factors and barriers to support
View report
University of Toronto, Waypoint Research Institute $42,771

Award Recipient Title of Project Organization Award Amount
Dan Bilsker A systematic approach to identifying resilience training needs of EMS personnel
View report
BC Emergency Health Services $49,500
Keith Tyler An Assessment of Wearable Feedback Devices for CPR Training
View report
St John Ambulance BC & Yukon $35,896
Florriann Fehr Cognitive Rehearsal Training (CRT) as an Anti-Bullying Intervention for Nursing Students and New Nurse Graduates—Part 1
View report
Thompson Rivers University, School of Nursing $27,093
Jay Olson Improving Knowledge Translation of Shift Work Fatigue Research
View report
McGill University $50,000
Aziz Ghahary Liquid skin substitute combined with autologous meshed grafts improves the survivability, healing quality and faster recovery of patients with large injuries University of British Columbia, BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Group $58,280
Ruth Wright Proactive Strategies for Managing Workplace Harassment and Bullying
View report
Conference Board of Canada $49,812
Jong Sung Kim Toxicological Approach to Assess Occupational Health Risks of Nanoparticles
View report
Dalhousie University, Faculty of Medicine $50,000

2015

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Byron Gates Development of snap tests for assessing potential exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace

View report
Simon Fraser University $104,860
Ross Gibson Evaluating the generalizability and efficacy of implementing SafeWards across a variety of care settings in the Fraser Health Authority

View report
Simon Fraser University $50,000
Elena Martin Investigation of occupational microbial exposure using quantitative total cell count analysis

View report
TSS Total Safety Services, Inc. $50,000
Dwayne Van Eerd Managing depression in the workplace – Bridging the research to practice gap

View report
Institute for Work & Health $44,973
Patricia Rodney Supporting long term care residents throughout the dying process: Understanding and addressing related health care Provider Stress

View report
Simon Fraser University $28,808

2014

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Marc White Identification, Control and Prevention of Work-related Psychosocial Hazards and Social Conditions Contributing to Mental Health Disorders and Prolonged Work Absence

View report
UBC $50,000
Brent Langlois Indigenous leadership in structural firefighting: Developing tomorrow’s leaders in British Columbia

View report
First Nations' Emergency Services Society $49,000
Barbara Neiss Preventing Occupational Disease: Designing a System that Works

View report
Memorial University of Newfoundland $50,000
George Astrakianakis The application of novel measurement and field evaluation protocols for assessing healthcare workers' exposure to antineoplastic drugs; evaluation of their utility for exposure assessment

View report
UBC $50,000

2013

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Byron Gates Developing Methodology for Remediation of Nanoparticle Contamination in the Workplace

View report
SFU $50,000
Winnie Chu Development of a real-time aerosol dosimeter

View report
Nanozen Industries Inc $49,994
Carolyn Sparrey The effect of environmental exposure on the performance of fall arrest systems

View report
SFU $49,066
Beverley Thorpe Tools and strategies for informed substitution to adopt safer chemicals in cleaning and maintenance work

View report
BCGEU $49,975
Hugh Davies Truck Drivers and Vibration-Damping Seats: An Evaluation of Technology Choices

View report
UBC $50,000

2012

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Brenna Lynn Pilot Proposal - Enhancing Physicians' Knowledge and Skills on Stay-at-Work and Return-to-Work, Disability Prevention and Management

View report
UBC $92,100

2011

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Rita Ciconte & Quinn Danyluk Assessment and Determination of Practical Considerations for Wide-scale Utilization of Elastomeric Half-facepiece Respirators during a Pandemic or Outbreak Situation

View report
Fraser Health $50,000
Ryan Kanigan Assessment of the Efficacy of Safety Engineered Scalpels

View report
Peak Research $50,000
Winnie Chu Development of an Effective Cleaning Agent for Cytotoxic Drugs

View report
Nanozen Industries Inc $49,950
Séamus Parker Development of Enhanced Emergency Braking System for Logging Trailers

View report
FPInnovations $33,646
Vernon Curran Educational Offerings in Health and Safety in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

View report
Memorial University of Newfoundland $49,321
Murray Hodgson Exposure of Teachers to Occupational Hazards in High-School Technology-Education Shops

View report
UBC $42,388
Kevin Lyons Field Testing a Remotely Operated Falling Wedge

View report
UBC $42,369
Marc White Interventions to Reduce Work Absence: A synthesis of systematic reviews

View report
UBC $50,000
Annalee Yassi Occupational Health Incident Reporting System for the Forestry Sector

View report
UBC $50,000
Tyler Amell Proof of Concept for an Innovative Approach to Physical Job Demands Analysis

View report
LifeMark Health Management $49,060
Stephen Bornstein Tracking Occupational Diseases: An Analysis of Approaches for the Canadian Context

View report
Memorial University of Newfoundland $49,321

2010

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Jack Taunton A Clinical Trial of a Multi-element Exercise Program for Plantar Fasciopathy in Workers Required to Stand for Prolonged Periods of Time

View report
UBC $50,000
Ian Tomm Avalanche Floatation Devices – Current Status at the Canadian Workplace

View report
Canadian Avalanche Association $48,718
Martha Cloutier Creating a Safe Client Handling Culture in the Challenging Environment of Emergency Departments

View report
Fraser Health $50,000
Byron Gates Detecting, Handling and Controlling Nanoparticle Contamination in the Workplace

View report
SFU $50,000
Dwayne Van Eerd Dissemination and Uptake of a Participatory Ergonomics Guide for Workplaces in British Columbia

View report
Institute for Work & Health $44,925
Rick Hall Ergonomic Syringe Adapter

View report
Vancouver Coastal Health (PHSA) $49,956
Steven Threadkell "FIT" Fishboat Inclinometer Testing (Commercial Fishing Vessel Behavior)

View report
PortShip Consulting Inc. $56,550
Marc White Health and Work Productivity Web-Portal: Knowledge to action for disability prevention and management - A Pilot Study

View report
LifeMark Health Management $49,060
Brent Langlois Safeguarding our Indigenous Communities: Measuring the Health and Safety Culture of Aboriginal Fire Crews and Emergency Service Personnel in British Columbia

View report
First Nations' Emergency Services Society $49,000
Mieke Koehoorn Seeking Compensation for Mesothelioma: Investigating why Individuals do or do not seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits in British Columbia

View report
UBC $50,000
David Malloy Work & Hardiness: Exploring Rate of Return and Existential Courage

View report
University of Regina $27,659

2009

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Annalee Yassi Building Capacity of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees: Creating an Innovative Web-based Tool

View report
UBC $50,000
Kevin Lyons Developing a Remotely Operated Falling Wedge

View report
UBC $32,280
Catherine Ogden Development of an Online Repository of OH&S Education and Training Resources for Healthcare: Phase 1

View report
OHS Agency for Healthcare in BC $48,678
Richard Shervey Mobile Equipment Safety System

View report
Pro-Active Safety Systems Technologies Inc. $100,000
Wendell Uglene On Water Visibility Study - Determining the most Visible Colour that can be Worn by Floating Subjects

View report
Mustang Survival Corp. $25,850
Mel Sawyer Preventing Needle-stick Injuries and the use of Dental Safety Syringes

View report
UBC $48,330
Doug Bennett Resource Road Safety Assessment: Pilot Project on Mobile Mapping Systems

View report
FPInnovations $47,350

2008

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Murray Hodgson Acoustical Environments in VCH Health-Care Facilities, Phase 1: Measurement Tools and Pilot Studies

View report
UBC $49,943
Susan Tarlo Asthmatic Knowledge and Careers

View report
St. Michael's Hospital $49,460
Nancy McGovern Changing the Sheets. The Slider Sheet System -- Phase Two: Incorporating Lessons Learned from Phase One

View report
Interior Health Authority $50,000
Elliot Goldner Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Dissemination Strategy for Management of Low Mood and Depression among Employees of Pacific Blue Cross

View report
SFU $50,000
Michael Leiter Developing a Safety Climate: Shared Assumptions and Interventions

View report
Acadia University $49,618
Annalee Yassi Establishing an Occupational Health and Infection Control Program in a Large Ambulatory Care Facility

View report
UBC $50,000
Axel Hovbrender Identification of Potential Risk Factors for Injury to Police Officers using New Technologies

View report
JIBC $15,138
Mona Sykes Joint Prevention of Workplace Violence: Creating an Innovative Web-based Tool

View report
BCGEU $50,000
Richard Shervey Mobile Equipment Safety System

View report
Pro-Active Safety Systems Technologies Inc. $100,000
Janice Abbott Taking Care of those who Care: Assessing Organizational and Individual Stress Management Interventions for Anti-violence Workers

View report
Atira Women's Resource Society $49,586
James Carter The Effectiveness of Current Fire Fighter Rapid Intervention Teams

View report
The Justice Institute of BC $43,860
Elliot Goldner & Joti Samra Training, Dissemination & Evaluation of a Depression Self-care Tool Delivered to Injured Employees

View report
SFU $50,000

2007

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Helen Mersereau Breaking New Ground: Does Radon Present a Health Risk to Nova Scotia Workers?

View report
Cape Breton University $26,100
Chantal Dion Cleaning and Decontamination of Workplaces Containing Beryllium – Techniques and Cleaning Solutions

View report
IRSST $50,000
Séamus Parker Development of Descent Guidelines for Log-hauling Vehicles (highway legal configurations)

View report
FPInnovations $30,011
Emile Tompa Economic Evaluation Workbook for Workplace Parties in the Healthcare Sector

View report
Institute for Work & Health $50,000
Lynn Alden Factors that Predict Return-to-work in Workers with PTSD

View report
UBC $47,940
Séamus Parker In-service Evaluation of Onboard Brake Monitoring Device for Logging Trucks

View report
FPInnovations $40,079
Barbara Howe Summative Evaluation of the Fish Safe Stability Education Program: A Multifaceted Approach

View report
Quinte Marine Services Ltd. $49,610
Richard Shervey Wireless Personal Protection System

View report
Pro-Active Safety Systems Technologies Inc. $46,000
Margaret Birrell Workplace Emergency Planning Inclusive of People with Disabilities

View report
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities $38,870
Kirsti Inglis WorkSmart: A Warehouse Safety Video and Curriculum for Employees with Developmental Disabilities

View report
Developmental Disabilities Association $5,500

2006

Award Recipient Title of Report Organization Award Amount
Gregory Anderson CPR and First Aid Skill Retention in an Industrial Setting

View report
University College of the Fraser Valley $49,880
Kelly Crosby HVAC Filter Change Project

View report
Ocean Air Systems Ltd. $49,162
Waqar Mughal Implementation and Evaluation of a "Safety Culture" in Residential Care Through Involvement of Front-line Workers

View report
Fraser Health $43,863
Emmy Duran Increasing Access to Radiation Safety Training and Validating Its Effectiveness in Improving Work Practices Involving Radiation

View report
Vancouver Coastal Health $48,930
Wayne Peppard Innovation in Worker Safety Representation Systems

View report
BC & Yukon Building & Construction Trades Council $49,226
Annalee Yassi Joint Prevention of Workplace Violence: Creating an Innovative Web-based Tool

View report
UBC $50,000
Mae Burrows Training for a Non-toxic Workplace

View report
Labour Environmental Alliance $33,795
David Johnson Working Safe in Aboriginal Communities

View report
United Native Nations $47,986