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SDTC’s new Seed Fund partnerships support technologies to lower emissions for Canada’s transportation sector

July 14, 2020

OTTAWA, ON, July 14, 2020 – Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) today announced funding for seven Canadian start-up companies developing cleantech solutions in the transportation sector.  

The transportation industry start-ups funded in the current round include both battery and charging technologies for electric vehicles, photonics for autonomous cars, hydrogen-as-a-service innovation for transport trucks, software for better traffic management, and artificial intelligence in the dairy industry to manage milk trucks more efficiently. The companies are based in St. John’s, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Delta, B.C. 

Canada’s transportation sector (both passenger and freight) makes up the largest share of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.    

The funding comes from SDTC’s Seed Fund. Piloted in 2019, the Seed Fund now has capacity to support up to 100 companies per year. Successful applicants receive between $50,000 to $100,000 from SDTC, enabling them to unlock even greater funding from their private equity partners. Seventeen small businesses in total received funding from SDTC in the first round of 2020-2021, which concluded at the end of June.       

Central to the success of SDTC’s Seed Fund is its partnership model. SDTC partners with business accelerators and incubators across the country to identify high-potential start-up firms. With specialized knowledge of their regions and target industries, the accelerators nominate companies in their portfolios that meet SDTC funding criteria. Any accelerator in Canada is welcome to apply to SDTC to be a partner in the Seed Fund.  

“Cleantech companies like the ones we are investing in today are helping to position Canada as a leader in an expanding market, as investors and businesses seek sustainable growth. Investments to improve Canada’s transport industry through clean technology not only support the work of Canadian innovators, but also reduce our environmental footprint and grow economic opportunities.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry  

“Since Canada is a major energy exporter, our climate conversation tends to focus on emissions from energy production. Yet more greenhouse gas emissions come from the tailpipe than from the wellhead. These transportation sector entrepreneurs are showing us that Canada can lead the world in developing breakthrough technologies to move people and goods more efficiently.” – Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada 

A list of the transportation sector companies and their accelerator sponsors appears below. The second call for Seed Fund applications of 2020-2021 later this Fall.  

  • Calogy Solutions (Sherbrooke, QC), supported by Ecofuel, is creating thermal management technology for Li-ion batteries. This lowers the initial cost of electric vehicles, enhances battery safety, and increases battery life. 
  • Elocity (Toronto, ON), supported by Accelerator Centre, is developing data-based smart controls to aid electricity distribution companies in maintaining grid stability during the rising demands of the electric vehicle revolution. 
  • Hydra Energy (Delta, BC), supported by Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, is creating Hydrogen-as-a-Service technology and systems. They retrofit diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles to partially run on hydrogen, and work to supply purified hydrogen.  
  • Milk Moovement (St. John’s, NL), supported by Genesis, develops cloud-based software to improve the efficiency of the dairy supply chain through features like transport monitoring, production tracking and route optimization, reducing the carbon footprint of dairy trucks. 
  • One Silicon Chip Photonics (Montreal, QC), supported by FounderFuelbuilds chips containing extremely compact Inertial Measurement Units used to navigate a moving object. These accelerometer/gyroscope chips are valuable in the autonomous vehicle market. 
  • OPA Technologies (Montreal, QC), supported by Ecofuel, is developing user-friendly collaboration software to better plan, coordinate and communicate road closures and traffic detours using optimized geospatial data intelligence. 
  • Summit Nanotech (Calgary, AB), supported by MaRS, is using nanotechnology to isolate lithium ions from solutions, providing sustainably sourced lithium to the electric vehicle sector. The energy-efficient process uses no freshwater, produces less waste, and doubles the lithium yield