SDTC Awards $1.18M to BC Company for Battery Technology

A Vancouver, BC company has received $1,181,944 in Canadian government funding to develop and scale up production of advanced battery materials. Nano One Materials Corp. received cleantech funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC or SD Tech), for a project that will provide battery technology for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.

This recent installment of funding is part of a total award of up to $5M over three years.

Created by the Government of Canada, SDTC supports companies that have the potential to become global leaders in new environmental technologies that address climate change, as well as tech that supports cleaner air, water, and soil. In Federal Budget 2017, SDTC received an additional investment of $400M over five years so that it can continue to support companies’ cleantech projects.

Nano One was eligible for the SDTC program due to its contribution to renewable energy. The company possesses a unique process for producing low-cost, high-performance energy storage materials for batteries. The three-stage process uses common manufacturing equipment and is currently being engineered to support high-volume production and rapid commercialization. Nano One was visited earlier this year by Justin Trudeau, as part of the Canadian government’s climate change initiatives.

SD Tech Fund Supports Multiple Project Phases

Nano One initially received over $2M from SDTC for the first phase of its project: the design, construction, optimization, and demonstration of the company’s pilot plant to produce battery cathode materials (cathodes are the electrodes from which a current leaves an electrical device).

Now, according to Nano One CEO, Dan Blondal, “The goals are to expand our laboratory, pilot plant, and staffing to support the advancement of next generation lithium ion battery cathode materials, used in electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.”

Nano One will receive up to $5M in additional funding from SD Tech to support scale up activities with the firm’s industrial partners and collaborators. The project involves five multinational manufacturers and European automakers including Volkswagen Group, Saint-Gobain, and Pulead Technology. Partners will contribute to the project at various stages: research, development, piloting, and commercialization.

The global cathode market is predicted to grow to $23B by 2025. In order to harness the energy from renewable sources, multiple industries need high-performance energy conversion and storage systems. Nano One’s manufacturing process for energy storage materials will help demonstrate Canada’s innovation in cleantech and help the company gain up to 5% of the lithium cathode market revenue.

Nano One’s Canadian Government Funding Strategy

The cleantech funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada is not the first instance of Nano One leveraging government funding to support its development.

Altogether, the company has been awarded $9.2M in Canadian government funding.

In 2018, Nano One received $349K from NRC IRAP (National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program) for the development of coatings for lithium ion battery cathodes. The company also received funding from NRC IRAP in a previous year for R&D related to its High Voltage Spinel, a cobalt-free advanced battery material.

Additionally, in 2017, Nano One secured $1.9M from the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP) to improve automotive ion battery technology and construction of the company’s Demonstration Pilot Plant. (The ASIP program has since closed, but automotive suppliers in Ontario may be interested in the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program).

SDTC Funding for Small Businesses

SD Tech funds Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with innovative technologies that have the potential for strong environmental and economic benefits, especially in relation to reducing greenhouse gases. SDTC aims to be a catalyst for Canada’s cleantech industry by helping companies accelerate and deploy globally competitive solutions.

Awarded companies receive on average 33% of project costs, with an average funding amount of $3M.

As of March 2018, SDTC-supported projects had created 10,943 new jobs, commercialized 78 new technologies, and generated $2.7B in annual revenues for Canadian cleantech companies.

To stay up to date on business grants, industry and funding news, and resources geared to Canadian businesses, please sign up for Mentor Works’ Weekly Funding Newsletter.

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Sunnie holds a PhD in English from Dalhousie University, and has published her writing in several academic journals, as well as in magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She combines years of experience as a professor in English with practical experience in the private sector as a trainer in writing and analytical thinking.

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