Cleantech grants and related industries are the biggest funding priority for Canada. Even if you aren’t a cleantech company, your company’s development or improvement project could be eligible for cleantech funding.

When Canada’s 2017 Federal Budget was released, it introduced an Innovation and Skills Plan that focused on “expanding growth and creating good, well-paying jobs” in three key industries: clean technology, digital industries, and agri-food. Of these three, the cleantech sector by far has received the largest portion of the investment, with more than $840 million in new direct funding and $1.4 billion in new repayable and equity financing committed. Existing programs are expanding, and new programs are popping up across the country, offering grant funding and subsidies for cleantech projects as well as funding for business startups in this field. Today we want to take a look at how these federal funding commitments are shaping up, and what they mean for Canadian businesses.

* Download this PDF to get the full scope on Canadian cleantech grants, both provincial and federal.

What Does CleanTech Funding Cover?

When we talk about clean, green, sustainable technologies, what do we really mean? We should bear in mind that they don’t necessarily refer to electric cars and wind turbines. Any technology that generates a positive environmental impact, whether by reducing GHG emissions, reducing power or water consumption, or eliminating contamination from the air, water or soil, could be considered a cleantech advancement. Therefore, sustainable technologies can be found in a wide range of industries and applications, including agriculture, construction, natural resources, industrial production, power generation and transmission, recycling and waste management, transportation, and infrastructure.

Companies that develop products or services geared toward reducing waste, GHG emissions or pollution, for example, could also be qualified for clean funding. Clean innovation encompasses not only new innovations but also existing technologies/processes that are utilized in a new way. Examples of green innovations can include control software for maximizing system efficiency, machinery upgrades that reduce electricity or water consumption, and new designs for systems and processes that minimize their impact on their surrounding ecosystem.

In short – you don’t have to be a “cleantech company” per se to be qualified for funding from the government’s clean and green programs.

* Download this PDF to get the full scope on Canadian cleantech grants, both provincial and federal.

Why is Future Green?

Transition to a low-carbon economy is a national priority for Canada, not only due to the growing threat of climate change but also due to the revenue potential that it offers. 170 countries around the world signed the Paris Climate Accord that committed them to reduce emissions by 2020. Hence the demand for sustainable technologies at a rapid pace. The global market for cleantech has already surpassed $1 trillion per year and is projected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2020. Canadian exporters currently occupy only 1.4% of this market, and our share has been in decline in recent years as industry leaders such as China, Germany, and the US have been able to capture most of the growing demand.

The federal government seeks to reverse this trend and drive Canada toward a global leadership role in sustainable technology development. Overall, Canada accounts for 2% of the total global economy – if we achieved an equivalent share of the cleantech market, we would create a $50 billion industry.

In addition to new policies and measures around carbon usage, carbon pricing, and infrastructure, the framework recommended increased government investment in clean technology innovation and commercialization. Subsidizing the implementation costs for cleantech demonstrations can assist Canadian developers in bringing their products to the market and encourage communities to adopt home-grown solutions to their environmental challenges. This will also make it easier for them to enter the global marketplace, once they have proven the effectiveness of their products domestically and started to generate revenue.

Download this PDF to get the full scope on Canadian cleantech grants, both provincial and federal.