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SDTC launches pilot project; partners with accelerators to provide seed funding to four potential game-changing technologies

May 8, 2019

OTTAWA, ON, May 8, 2019 – Sustainable Development Technology Canada is expanding its reach by piloting new funding to find and support Canada’s most promising early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs. To do so, SDTC is partnering with up to eight incubators and accelerators across the country. The pilot launched today with four grants of $100,000 or less to companies with potential breakthrough technologies in agriculture, energy, power generation, and traffic management.

Clean technology is a megatrend that will affect most sectors at varying speeds. This initiative will provide the right funding at the right time to help cleantech entrepreneurs develop businesses that are tackling some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges.

By partnering with a select group of business accelerators, SDTC’s funding will fuel the growth of these companies by expanding on the support, such as training, mentorship, office space, tools, and community, already being provided through the accelerator or incubator. SDTC is seeking to identify a cross-section of promising new cleantech entrepreneurs by providing up to 30 grants of $50,000 to $100,000 each this pilot year.

The four companies receiving the first investments demonstrate the remarkable breadth of technology innovation taking place across Canada today. Each is receiving a grant between $90,000 to $100,000.
• Brisk Synergies, supported by Accelerator Centre (Waterloo, ON), is developing a technology to reduce traffic accidents and congestion. Their software platform uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to connect and analyze real-time video data to detect dangerous interactions and flow patterns.
• Intelline, supported by Velocity (Waterloo, ON) is building and testing industrial cryocoolers that are smaller, lighter and more efficient than copper-based equivalents. Cyrocoolers are essential to super-conductor technologies, which offer dramatic efficiency gains for multiple industries, including reducing the energy lost through resistance in electricity transmission lines.
• Direct-C, supported by TEC Edmonton (Edmonton, AB), has patented sensor technology using polymer-based “paint” substances mixed with nanoparticles that can be applied to large surfaces in order to measure temperature, stress/strain/cracking, or chemical exposure. The first deployment is in the pipeline industry, detecting leaks at their earliest stages.
• SoilReader, supported by Manitoba Technology Accelerator (Winnipeg, MB), is developing a technology for real-time, precision soil analysis in the agricultural sector. By measuring soil constituents at various depths instantly, SoilReader will enable farmers to optimize crop inputs, reducing over-application of fertilizers. Measuring Co2 capture in the soil is a future application.

“Clean technology is about more than any one sector—when we support clean technology, we support our entire economy, creating good jobs while helping to protect our environment. Through SDTC, our government is helping early-stage entrepreneurs achieve their full potential and ultimately solve some of our biggest environmental challenges.”
— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government knows that the environment and the economy go hand in hand and Sustainable Development Technology Canada is demonstrating this by partnering with incubators and accelerators across the country to find 30 of Canada’s most promising cleantech entrepreneurs and investing critical early-stage funding in them. These investments will help these cleantech entrepreneurs transform their ideas into globally competitive cleantech solutions. Congratulations to the first four successful recipients of these investments. I look forward to seeing the impact of your innovations in agriculture, energy, power generation and traffic management.”
— The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

“At SDTC, we leverage partnerships across Canada, and we listen to input from the growing national community of cleantech entrepreneurs. These creative, forward-thinking people need supports to get ideas from the sketch pad to the launch pad. We are building programs that are as nimble and responsive as the entrepreneurs themselves.”
— Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“Working with SDTC to support this new early-stage funding program has been a pleasure, as they have found the right balance between diligence and speed. This is particularly important for supporting fast-moving, transformative early-stage companies. We’re delighted to see a program that leverages private investment in support of the cleantech segment of Velocity’s growing deeptech differentiated portfolio.”
— Jay Shah, Director, Velocity

“SDTC’s pilot project is an incredible opportunity for clean tech entrepreneurs across the country. We run a specialized program for clean tech startups and we’ve seen the difficulty startups can have in securing funding in the sector. SDTC’s approach gives high potential companies the opportunity to get that much needed funding quickly and streamlines the process; making the program very attractive to startups and incubators alike.
— Dr. Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre

“SDTC is being flexible in its definition of “early-stage.” Sometimes a promising technology will falter between one fundraising effort and the next. A modest injection of capital from a public fund can de-risk a project and make all the difference in getting a company over the finish line of commercialization.”
— Chris Lumb, CEO, TEC Edmonton

“Sustainable development requires innovation in all sectors of the economy, from the oldest to the newest. Investments in agriculture technology are as important to the health of our planet as investments in renewable energy.”
— Marshall Ring, CEO, Manitoba Technology Accelerator leader