Frequently Asked Questions
What types of projects does SDTC fund?
SDTC provides funding to promising clean technology development and demonstration projects (i.e., when the technology itself is beyond proof-of-concept but is still pre-commercial). The technology must demonstrate the potential for GHG emissions reductions, reductions in water consumption, and/or the reduction of water, soil or air contamination. The project must include some further development of the technology, mitigate existing technology risk and include validation of the economic viability of the technology.
Our portfolio projects are detailed here and provide a good idea of the broad scope of projects we have funded.
Is the funding a loan that needs to be repaid?
The funding is a non-repayable contribution.
Does SDTC take ownership in my company or Intellectual Property in exchange for funds?
No. SDTC does not take any equity in your company in return for funding, nor do we take ownership of any intellectual property developed through an SDTC-funded project. Taking ownership of the IP is an option for recourse only in the rare case where the project’s lead company defaults on their contract with SDTC.
What is the scope of a typical SDTC-funded project?
SDTC funds projects that continue the development of technologies to the doorstep of commercialization; we do not fund research or commercialization activities but rather, the interim pilot or demonstration stage. In other words, SDTC helps companies advance the technology development and/or demonstration required to secure their first paying customer. This is typically achieved through the provision of both the technical and economic performance of the proposed technology and demonstrating its ability to solve a problem experienced by the customer (e.g., to help them meet a regulatory requirement, save costs, improve efficiency, become “greener” etc.).
How does SDTC define “consortium partner” and what is their role in advancing a proposed project?
SDTC defines a consortium partner as an organization that is unrelated to the applicant and is willing to make a contribution to the project at cost. This means that consortium partners cannot make a profit as a result of the project during the established project timeframe. Partners take on some project risk with the hopes that, in the future, once the technology is proven and commercialized, they will somehow benefit from its existence.
Partners can include academia, government agencies, associations, industry, etc. It is preferable to include one “market validation” partner that is representative of your target customer and can ensure market uptake for the technology post project. The partners can make in-kind contributions (i.e., absorb some project costs and report those to the applicant), provide a demonstration site, provide Intellectual Property, etc. and are expected to actively participate in the project.
In the case of the SDTC Seed Fund, nominations for funding come through partner accelerators. For more information see Our Partnerships.
How long is the application process?
On average six months are required from the initial submission of the application through to final SDTC Board approval of funding for applicants that provide high quality submissions and satisfy the requirements for contracting in a timely manner.
The SDTC Seed Fund has four rounds of funding per year. Each round takes eight weeks.
How much funding can I request for my project?
SDTC typically provides:
- Funding of up to 33% of eligible projects costs (up to 40%).
- An average contribution of $2 million to $4 million, with funds disbursed over the life of the project up to a five-year period.
- SDTC Seed Fund grants are up to $100,000 per project
To be funded by SDTC, a project:
- Must obtain a private-sector contribution of at least 25% of eligible project costs.
- Cannot include funding from other government entities that in its totality is greater than 75% of eligible project costs.
- Must incur at least 50% of its eligible project costs within Canada.
- To receive funding through the SDTC Seed Fund, companies must be sponsored by a partner accelerator
Can I apply for other government programs if I have SDTC funding?
Yes. SDTC allows up to a maximum of 75% government funding (from any level) for a project. SDTC typically funds 33% of total project costs and requires a minimum of 25% private funding, which can include in-kind contributions from consortium partners. The balance of project costs can be funded by other government agencies.
How long does it take to enter into the Contribution Agreement with SDTC once my project has been approved for funding?
It varies, but it can take anywhere from three to eleven months to contract. Time required for contracting is dependent on the time it takes for SDTC to receive and approve required documentation (i.e., most notably confirmation of funding for the project and signed agreements with consortium partners).
Once approved, how are the funds disbursed?
Contribution Agreements include milestones that represent a specified time period with identified deliverables and success metrics. Once the Contribution Agreement has been executed, SDTC advances our portion of the Milestone 1 budget, less a standard 10% holdback (e.g., if the budget for Milestone 1 activities is $1 milion and our ratio is 33%, we would advance $297,000 ($330,000 less $33,000). Upon completion of Milestone 1, the project team must report on the progress made during that period and the expenses incurred toward the completion of those activities. Once SDTC has reviewed and accepted the reports at the end of any given milestone, SDTC will advance our portion of the following milestone budget. Upon project completion, as well as at receipt and acceptance of final project reports and project financial audit, SDTC will release the final 10% holdback.
What are my obligations during the project once the project has been funded?
At the completion of each milestone, the project team is required to report against the specific technical deliverables and metrics outlined in the Contribution Agreement, as well as disclosing all project expenses incurred during the milestone period. Additional reporting includes the Environmental Benefits Baseline Report at the end of Milestone 1. The Final Report, the Marketing and Commercialization Report and the Environmental Benefits Final Report are all required upon project completion in order to obtain the 10% holdback.
In addition to reporting, SDTC expects the recipient to acknowledge SDTC funding in press releases and public statements about the project.
What obligations do I have to SDTC after project completion?
For each of five years post-project completion, SDTC requires recipients to complete an annual questionnaire so that we can track your success in moving your technology to market. The questionnaire focuses on sales, revenues, jobs created and other commercial activities.