1. What is SDTC’s mandate?
SDTC is an arm’s length foundation created by the Government of Canada to deliver economic and environmental benefits to Canadians. SDTC supports projects that develop and demonstrate new technologies that address issues related to climate change, air quality, clean water and soil. We also forge innovative partnerships and help to build a sustainable development technology infrastructure. SDTC is mandated to increase the number and uptake of clean technologies in the marketplace across Canada, providing national benefits.
2. What types of projects does SDTC fund?
SDTC grants 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 on our website, and provide a good idea of the broad scope of projects we have funded.
3. Is the funding a loan that needs to be repaid?
The funding is a non-repayable contribution and hence, non-dilutive for your company.
4. Does SDTC take ownership in my company or Intellectual Property in exchange for funds?
No, SDTC funds are non-dilutive; we do 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 of a fundee defaulting on their contract with SDTC.
5. Does SDTC currently have funds available?
Yes, SDTC was allocated new funds in the 2016 federal budget.
6. How do I know if I am eligible for funding?
Please review our eligibility criteria and complete the self-assessment questionnaire to see if you are a potential candidate for funding. If you are a Canadian technology developer, are developing an innovative pre-commercial technology that will reduce GHG emissions, water consumption or waste to air, soil or water, and you can form a consortium for the purposes of the project, you could be eligible. If in doubt, please contact a Technology Scout at 613-234-6313.
7. What is the scope of a typical SDTC-funded project?
At SDTC, we fund projects that continue the development of technologies to the doorstep of commercialization; we do not fund Research and Development or commercialization activities but rather, the interim pilot or demonstration stage. In other words, we help companies conduct the technology development and/or demonstration required to secure their first paying customer. This is typically achieved through proving 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.).
8. SDTC seems to have multiple funding opportunities. Which fund is right for my technology?
The SD Tech Fund is currently accepting applications 365 days a year. While the majority of projects are funded out of the SD Tech Fund, it has a sub-fund, the SD Natural Gas Fund, which funds technologies that positively impact our natural gas supply, distribution and end use.
The application process and eligibility criteria are identical for the two funds, so you do not need to identify to which one you are applying; SDTC’s experts will make that determination based on your technology.
SDTC has held joint funding opportunities with provincial counterparts in the past, and there is the possibility that we may do this again in the future. Keep an eye on sdtc.ca.
9. How does SDTC define “consortium partner” and what is their role in advancing a proposed project?
For the purposes of an SDTC-funded project, a consortium partner is defined as an organization that is unrelated to the applicant and is willing to make a contribution to the project at cost (i.e. Consortium partners cannot make a profit as a result of the project during the established project timeframe). In other words, 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 (i.e. the technology solves a problem for them). 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.
10. How do I apply? What steps are involved?
(1) Complete the self-assessment questionnaire.
(2) Based on your answers to the questionnaire, call an Applications & Intake Coordinator at 613-234-6313.
(3) Login to our secure Applications Portal and create a Username, Password and User Profile.
(4) Complete an initial introduction form by clicking on the New Applications Tab and follow the instructions, providing as much detail as possible. All information submitted is treated as confidential, so please make sure you provide enough detail for us to understand your technology and how it works. Once you have completed the form (you can return to the portal and add/edit information as required prior to submitting), click “submit” and we will automatically be notified of a new submission. The SDTC review team will review your application as quickly as possible (within 2-4 weeks) and get back to you with feedback.
(5) If you pass the initial screening— i.e. the review team finds the technology compelling and you meet the eligibility criteria—you will be invited to make a 45-minute video presentation about your project to SDTC’s internal experts. Prior to your scheduled presentation, SDTC will provide you with a PowerPoint template which must completed and used for the presentation during the video conference. After you complete your video presentation, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. At the end of the session, SDTC will privately deliberate and you will either be given the go forward to proceed to the Due Diligence Phase or directed to alternative sources of funding and other support services. You are always welcome to apply again at a later date.
(6) Due Diligence Phase: You will be required to complete a detailed proposal (DP), similar to a business plan, which includes in-depth detail about the technology itself, the market and path to market post project, the team who will carry out the project, and the calculations of environmental benefits etc. There will be three submission dates per year for the DP.
(7) The DP is reviewed by one external business expert and one external technology expert. At least one of these experts must recommend the project for it to move to the next stage.
(8) SDTC will also conduct a site visit and further due diligence including a face-to-face meeting to ask any outstanding questions.
(9) If the project is recommended, our SDTC internal team will present the project to our Investment Committee. The Investment Committee then makes a go or no-go funding recommendation to our Board. It should be noted that a recommendation for funding may be tied to conditions for some projects.
(10) The SDTC Board has the final approval of any projects. They review the shortlist of projects that have been recommended by our IC and make all final decisions for funding.
10. How long is the application process?
Depending on the stage of the internal funding cycle on the date of application, between six to eight months are required from the initial submission of the application through to final SDTC Board approval of funding.
11. How much funding can I request for my project?
SDTC typically funds around 33% of the eligible project costs of the total project costs in the case of early stage technologies. Our funding is typically in the range $250,000 to $15 million CAD. In other words, your total eligible project costs should be $750,000 or more to be a good fit for SDTC funding. (If you require smaller amounts, please follow this link to find more appropriate sources of government funding).
12. Once approved, how are the funds disbursed to me?
Applicants are informed of SDTC funding after the project is approved by the SDTC Board. The project is then assigned to our project management team for preparation and execution of the Contribution Agreement (CA) you will enter into with SDTC. The contracting phase can take two to three months, depending on the status of project financing, the readiness of consortium partner agreements etc. The CA will include a detailed project work plan with two or more Project Milestones. Each Milestone represents a specified time period with identified deliverables and success metrics. Once the CA 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 $1M 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 technical achievements of the period plus the expenses incurred toward the completion of those activities. Once SDTC has reviewed and accepted the reports, SDTC advances our portion of the Milestone 2 budget. Upon project completion and receipt and acceptance of final project reports, SDTC will release the final 10% holdback.
13. What are my obligations during the project once I am funded?
At the completion of each milestone, the fund recipients are obligated to report against the specific technical deliverables and metrics outlined in the CA, as well as 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 appropriate press releases and public statements about the project.
14. What obligations do I have to SDTC after project completion?
For three years post-project, SDTC requires recipients to complete a questionnaire so we can track your success in moving the technology to market. The questionnaire focuses on sales, revenues, jobs created and other commercial activities.
15. Can I apply for other government programs if I have SDTC funding?
Absolutely. SDTC allows up to a maximum of 75% government funding (from any level) for any 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 remaining 42% of project costs can be funded by other government agencies. Projects with strong private sector financial contributions are more likely to be successful.