Cleantech clean technology for small business

The global clean technology (cleantech) industry continues to grow annually and is currently valued at over $1 trillion CAD. Canadian exports contribute over one percent of this total market. Of the cleantech companies established within Canada, the number who export has risen dramatically by 17% in the last two years alone. Still, the country’s market share of the global cleantech industry has fallen over the past several years, declining by 41% since 2008, according to Analytica Advisors.

Canadian Think-tank Explores Government Policy as Reason

Pembina Institute, a Canadian think-tank established in Alberta believes that provincial and federal governments have not done enough from a policy level to support the industry. Commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Pembina Institute has issued a report card for the various provincial and federal governments to show where the country is leading and falling behind in cleantech policy. Three categories were scored, including a government’s support for domestic deployment opportunities, encouragement for business growth, and access to export opportunities.

The study found that some provinces have excelled in creating policy and government funding initiatives for businesses. Ontario and Québec, in particular, provide the greatest opportunity for cleantech companies and provide a framework for rapid growth. However many provinces and territories, and Canada on a national level, are falling behind in this area and have not been doing enough to support the industry. The lack of a national cleantech industry plan has paved the way for Canada to have the third largest decline of market share since 2005 and a major reason why Canada commands a small piece of the substantial global market.

Canadian Government Funding Supports Cleantech Projects

One of the areas where the Canadian government excels in providing support for the cleantech industry is through the administration of small business funding. Ontario and Québec represent model provinces within Canada because of their ability to provide government grants, loans, and tax incentives to businesses who are focussed on the research and design, commercialization, and exporting of technologies related to clean technology. Through government funding programs small businesses will receive the incentives needed to increase clean energy exports and increase Canada’s position on the global stage. The following are a couple of programs that will enable businesses across Canada to support the cleantech industry.

IRAP Government Funding for Innovation Research

IRAP’s Accelerated Review Process (ARP) provides up to $50,000 in Canadian funding grants for research projects such as product development and process improvements. This grant funding enables businesses to complete research and development, including projects around clean technology. In addition to cleantech technology development projects, IRAP will provide funding to tackle outdated methods that are detrimental to the environment or draw heavily on the nation’s energy supply. Most established businesses qualify for IRAP funding to complete a research project on ways to improve inefficiencies and develop new technologies.

SDTC Tech Funding for Small Business

The Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Tech Fund fosters the development and demonstration of solutions in the cleantech industry. Projects which support clean water, air, land, and climate change may receive a 33% contribution in non-repayable government grant funding towards project costs. This program aims at the late stage development and early stage commercialization of cleantech projects, areas that the Pembia Institute identified as needing greater support.

Tools and Resources for Canadian Government Funding

Mentor Works is thrilled to help businesses, regardless of industry, become more competitive through obtaining government funding. We help foster innovation, productivity improvements, and assist in the creation of new jobs across the country. Register for one of our free webinars on government grants and loans to explore the many funding options available to your business. If you need help understanding where to start in the government funding process, use our Comparing Funding Types tool, or contact us to learn more.

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Written by

Jeff Shepherd holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Guelph. He is passionate about Canadian business, economics, and politics. As Marketing Coordinator for Mentor Works, Jeff educates business leaders about proactive funding strategies.

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