Energy efficiency is creating new opportunities for innovative, solution-oriented Canadian businesses. Across the world, consumers are demanding energy-efficient systems to replace old, outdated ones; this is especially true with building and property management. Although equipment and machinery located within buildings is becoming more sophisticated, the system used to deliver power has remained relatively unchanged.
This lack of innovation has prompted the Government of Canada to invest in a new technology research, development, and testing centre. In October 2016, the Canadian government announced a $4.63 million expansion to the Kortright Centre for Conservation’s ‘Living City’, an environmental educational facility located in Vaughan, Ontario.
Private-sector companies will be able to access the facility, once completed, to better understand how their developing technology will impact energy efficiency on a large-scale. With 11 partners already established, it’s expected that up to 82 jobs high-quality jobs will be created and 11 new technologies will be developed.
New Technologies Will Boost Energy Efficiency and Lower Costs
Most Canadians are unaware of how inefficient our current electricity transmission and conversion systems are. Before energy reaches its intended user, its converted multiple times and energy is lost during the process. In fact, approximately 32% of energy is lost during the conversion process and significantly limits how efficient our power system can be.
To combat these energy losses, the Government of Canada is investing in a new testing facility integrating the resources and talent of multiple partners. Siemens, Mohawk College, and other industry/academic partners will collaborate within this space to develop and test advanced energy technologies which enable home owners to monitor and manage their personal energy consumption.
Among the centre’s first projects will be construction of a direct-current micro-grid platform to focus on energy management and delivery processes. Micro-grid platforms are powered by renewable energy sources and eliminate the need to convert Direct Currents (DC) to Alternate Currents (AC).
Direct-current infrastructure promotes reliability and energy-efficient technology while decreasing overall energy consumption, maintenance, and labour costs.
Mohawk College Receives Ontario Government Funding for Energy-Efficient Technology Development
Although the research and development centre will be located in Woodbridge, Ontario, Hamilton-based Mohawk College will serve as the primary educational partner. Faculty and students will be heavily involved in this undertaking, which prepares soon-to-be graduates for future energy sector jobs.
“The Government of Canada’s investment in applied research at Mohawk will put our students and faculty to work with industry partners to test clean energy solutions that could revolutionize how we power our homes and communities.”
– Ron McKerlie, President, Mohawk College
The project is a win-win for Ontario’s energy sector; not only will innovative technologies be developed at the centre, but it will also provide youth with the training needed to become skilled tradespeople. The projected advancements promise to improve the overall quality of life for all Canadians and reduce the need for conversion during energy transmission.
Canadian Government Funding for Clean Energy Research and Development Projects
Canadian government grants are available for small and mid-sized businesses developing energy efficient technologies. Some of the most valuable funding opportunities to apply for include:
SD Tech Fund: Clean Technology Grants
The SD Tech Fund provides financial support to small businesses developing and commercializing clean technologies. Applicants may receive grants worth up to 33% of eligible project costs, with a total contribution ranging from $300k – $15M. Projects may span up to 5 years in length and should end in the development of a market-ready product.
IRAP (ARP): Innovative Technology Development Grants
IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) research grants support labour and contractor fees associated with innovative R&D projects. Small businesses may be able to receive up to 50-80% of project expenses to a maximum of $50,000. Ideal projects include product development, prototyping, or enhancement.
Access Canadian Government Funding to Support Energy-Efficient Infrastructure
Small business grants and loans are available to share the cost of strategic projects like research and development. Mature, growth-oriented Canadian companies who are completing R&D or other business expansion activities should educate themselves about the Canadian government funding landscape.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Canadian government grants, please contact Mentor Works.
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