Canadian Cleantech Innovation

Alena Barreca

Suppose you look up the term “Canadian Cleantech” on any search engine. In that case, you’ll quickly notice that there’s no shortage of daily news content covering the advancements, projects, and funding being funneled into cleantech innovation efforts currently in progress. This is mainly because, due to an influx of solid government funding support in recent years, a growing number of Canadian cleantech businesses can effectively research and develop viable solutions, such as products and processes, for sectors such as manufacturing that advance towards a better, cleaner Canada.

The ultimate goal of clean technology innovation is to tackle the global climate change crisis by supporting worldwide efforts to reach net-zero emissions and reduce negative environmental land, water, and air impacts.

According to Export Development Canada (EDC), the global annual investment in cleantech innovation research and development was over $3 trillion in 2020, and Canada has created a strong reputation as a world leader in this innovative space by rising from 7th in 2014 to 2nd in 2021 on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index.

In December 2020, the Government of Canada introduced the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, committing Canada to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It also includes a $15-billion plan with 64 measures intended to achieve key targets by 2030.

Canada’s Federal Budget 2021 also introduced even further funding support for Canadian cleantech innovation with an investment of $7.2 billion over the next seven years via the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

“Canada is home to a vibrant cleantech sector that punches above its weight, and our government is committed to supporting their important work,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Canada’s cleantech companies are a critical part of our plan to reduce emissions and create economic opportunities across the country.”


What is Clean Technology Innovation, and Why is it Important?

Clean technology refers to the ongoing efforts to improve environmental outcomes, particularly in association with renewable energy production, by developing technology that reduces or removes all emissions and creates cleaner solutions for industries across the globe. These solutions aim to replace current processes that contribute to the increase in fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, causing an elevated global temperature, which causes catastrophic events.

Scientists have long warned that if nothing is done to reverse the effects of climate change, humanity will suffer great consequences. In fact, we already are. The evidence is even present in Canadian weather: longer heat waves, warmer winters, tornados, more wildfires raging across the country, and so forth.


Projects and Solutions Leading Global Action Against Climate Change in Canada

There are countless examples of Canadian cleantech innovation projects currently in progress around the country. One of the biggest federal funding programs supporting these innovative research and development projects is the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Tech Fund.

The SD Tech Fund regularly provides funding to Canadian businesses, positioning Canada towards a net-zero economy by 2050 through projects that accelerate healthier technologies creating cleaner air, soil, and water solutions.

With SDTC support, Canadian companies have generated over $2.7 billion in annual revenues, created 14,628 jobs, and brought more than 150 new cleantech solutions to the market that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The SDTC invested over $1.15 billion in Canadian cleantech innovation in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Another large-scale funding program focused on supporting Canada’s leading cleantech innovators is the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). As mentioned earlier, the SIF is investing $7.2 billion over the next seven years to boost cleantech innovation solutions across the country.

The SIF offers up to 50% of project costs to eligible applicants to promote investment into activities that drive sustained productivity and economic benefits.

A prime example of SIF funding allocated towards cleantech innovation includes $415 million awarded for the development of a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto. The project hopes that in the event of a future flu outbreak not unlike the global COVID-19 pandemic, Sanofi’s new facility will produce vaccines at a population scale in a clean, safe, and effective way.


Canadian Government Grants and Loans Encouraging Cleantech Innovation

Along with the SD Tech Fund and the SIF, there are numerous other government funding programs, both federal and provincial, providing grants and/or loans for businesses to take on research and development projects to help advance innovative cleantech solutions.

Some other programs that may be of interest concerning tackling climate change through clean technology solutions include:

Browse all available government grant and loan programs supporting Canadian cleantech innovation by visiting our CleanTech Funding Programs Page. Make sure to stay up to date on the latest news concerning clean technology projects and funding programs by subscribing to the Mentor Works free weekly e-newsletter.


This article is reprinted with permission from Mentor Works. You can find the original article here.

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