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Investing in Quebec’s clean tech ecosystem will contribute to reducing the use of pesticides

January 22, 2018

Minister Duclos announces $5.9 million for a Quebec company to develop and market innovative sensors and web-based platforms for irrigation management

Around the globe, there is less and less agricultural land available and producers are looking to technology to help them make better use of resources. Thanks to investments by the Government of Canada in the development of clean technologies, Canadians could see a direct benefit in the food on their plate. Investments in innovative sensors and web-based platforms for better irrigation and crop management could help yield more crops while reducing the amount of pesticide used.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a federal investment of $5.9 million, through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), to advance technologies being developed by Hortau, a firm with innovative clean tech ventures.

This investment in Hortau supports a precision agriculture platform—composed of hardware, software and communication systems—that can provide a more complete approach to managing crops and irrigation. This includes monitoring five elements that can influence crop development: water, nutrients, pests, temperature and salinity. With this technology, Hortau is targeting high-value irrigated crops in Canada and the United States, representing a market of about 9.5 million acres. Hortau made the prestigious 2017 Global Cleantech 100 top companies to watch list as an up-and-coming company that is catching the attention of leading investors and corporations in the market.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Investments in clean technology also support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.


Our country is built on innovative solutions for crop and irrigation management. From our modest beginnings of clearing forest to plant crops to developing technologies like the ones we are supporting today at Hortau, Canadians are at the forefront of making better use of resources and creating more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Our government’s investments in clean technology reflect our commitment to protecting the planet. But they also point to a clear and strategic direction for economic development through innovation. That’s because innovations in clean tech will lead to products and services that have an impact on all sectors of the economy. And clean tech has the potential to create thousands of well-paying jobs for Canadians. That’s how innovation leads to a better Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Hortau’s innovative platform helps farmers better manage irrigation, reducing water consumption and pesticide use across the agriculture sector. This groundbreaking technology will deliver real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”

– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“Our goal is to help farmers grow more with fewer resources and improve production through the use of cutting-edge technologies in the field. Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s investment will continue to help Hortau remain at the forefront of precision irrigation innovation and allow us develop new technologies that make irrigation decisions easier for our growers. We’re excited about the support from the SDTC because it’s only going to help bring more precision and sustainability to Canadian agriculture.”

– Jocelyn Boudreau, Co-Founder and CEO, Hortau Inc.

Quick Facts

  • To help clean technology firms grow, the Innovation and Skills Plan includes investments of nearly $1.4 billion in new financing on a cash basis, starting in 2017–18. This new financing, through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, is being allocated as follows: $950 million in growth capital and approximately $450 million in additional project finance for clean technology producers.
  • Budget 2017 also made available $400 million to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund, which supports the development and demonstration of early-stage clean technology projects.