The Ecosystem Services, Commercialization Platforms and Entrepreneurship (ECOSCOPE) industrial stream NSERC CREATE training program provides UBC students and post-docs with the skills needed to translate environmental sequence information derived from studying microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems into commercial and entrepreneurial activities. ECOSCOPE increases capacity for highly qualified personnel (HQP) training in microbial ecology and biological engineering, allowing for team internships in start-up environments, and providing professional and entrepreneurial training to augment research skills and empower HQP to commercialize their innovations.

Although emanating from the Life Science Institute (LSI), ECOSCOPE defines a collaborative network between multiple departments on the UBC campus spanning basic and applied science (Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Forestry, Microbiology and Immunology, Mining Engineering, and Statistics).


To create a new generation of scientific entrepreneurs in Canada, poised to start new companies, develop independent scientific programs or join a burgeoning biological engineering sector in need of HQP personifying, logic, scientific creativity and the drive to make an impact in an emerging bio-economy.


Microbial communities constitute a vast reservoir of untapped genetic information and metabolic innovation. Canada has the opportunity to invest in the training of HQP able to understand and engineer microbial communities for social, economic, and environmental benefits across a range of sectors including water, mining, forestry, energy, agriculture, and public health. These sectors represent an emerging bio-economy that is expected to contribute to 2.3% of Canada’s GDP by 2017 at $40.5 billion and 3.99% of Canada’s GDP by 2030 at $144 billion. The global bio-economy is estimated to be $1.1 trillion by 2030 (2.7% of the GDP for OECD countries).


  1. Increase capacity for HQP training in microbial ecology and biological engineering at all levels,
  2. Provide opportunities for internships and bioengineering competitions to increase HQP problem solving potential, and
  3. Empower HQP to commercialize their research in Canada through a series of seminars, workshops and networking opportunities.