SDTC’s partnerships fund cutting-edge Canadian innovation to drive a more sustainable economy 

July 14, 2020

OTTAWA, ON, July 14, 2020 – In partnership with accelerators across Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) today announced funding for 17 Canadian start-ups that are pushing the boundaries of technology to develop sustainable solutions that will drive our economy forward. 

The entrepreneurs receiving funding show the breadth and variety of Canadian business developing cleantech solutions. These small businesses are developing technologies to power electric vehicles and to navigate autonomous cars. They are using drones to plant trees and data to improve fish farms. They enable heavy-duty vehicles to run on hydrogen, and they convert carbon dioxide into high-value fuels. They are replacing agrochemicals and inventing active compostable packaging. They are deploying nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and human ingenuity.  

The successful recipients of this round of funding also reflect the diversity of Canada’s population. Through the Seed Fund SDTC is expanding its reach a broader community of entrepreneurs across Canada in a variety of sectors. 

SDTC’s Seed Fund, piloted in 2019, is now expanding with the capacity to support up to 100 start-up companies per year. Successful applicants in the Seed Fund program receive between $50,000 to $100,000 from SDTC, enabling them to unlock even greater funding from their private equity partners.    

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. Working with accelerators has enabled a tighter connection between SDTC and the innovation ecosystems that are growing across the country and in every sector.Any accelerator in Canada is welcome to apply to SDTC to be a partner in the Seed Fund.  

The Seed Fund has enabled SDTC to expand its reach across Canada’s cleantech community, funding innovation from seed to start-up to scale-up. By adding the Seed Fund to support early stage entrepreneurs, SDTC is also strengthening its pipeline of future applicants for long-term partnership.     

A full list of the newly funded companies and their accelerator sponsors appears below. The second call for Seed Fund applications of 2020-2021 will launch this Fall.  

Quotes 

 “When it comes to clean technology, we back possibilities, big ideas and game changers. The 17 start-up companies announced today embody these characteristics. As we rebuild our economy from the challenges brought on by COVID-19, clean technology will continue to be an important contributor to Canadian jobs and innovation.
— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development 

“As Canada and the world struggle with the economic and public health challenges of COVID-19, I am encouraged by the leading-edge innovation we are seeing in applications to the SDTC Seed Fund. Canada can lead the world in finding the solutions that will enable us to build back better. The entrepreneurs we are funding through this program are leading the way.” 

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

Companies approved for funding 

Below are the 17 Canadian companies approved by SDTC for seed funding during this first of four rounds planned for the 2020/21 fiscal year. The accelerator partner that nominated each company is also listed.   

  • 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. 
  • Evercloak (Kitchener, ON), supported by MaRS, is producing graphene-based nano-membranes for dehumidification that are 100 times thinner, require little energy and produce little waste. The membranes increase cooling efficiency while cutting energy consumption by over 50%. 
  • Flash Forest (Shelburne, ON), supported by Climate Ventures, is deploying drones for reforestation. Their highly automated operations are far cheaper and more efficient than traditional tree-planting. They aim to plant one billion trees by 2028. 
  • 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.    
  • Impactful Health Research & Development Inc. (Montreal, QC), supported by Innovacorp, is developing active compostable packaging to extend the shelf life of fresh foods, particularly fish, increasing return on investment along the value chain while reducing waste. 
  • 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. 
  • OmniPly Technology (Montreal, QC), supported by TandemLaunch, makes creating flexible electronics more efficient through delamination technology. This easily integrated process separates flexible circuits from rigid carriers without compromising device performance. 
  • OneFeather Mobile (Victoria, BC), supported by Tectoria – ViaTech, is developing technology for streamlined digital voting, status card renewalonline banking, and other services to Indigenous people across Canada. The application will reduce travel needs in remote communities. 
  • One Silicon Chip Photonics (Montreal, QC), supported by FounderFuel, builds 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. 
  • Phycus Biotechnologies (Sydney, NS), supported by Verschuren Centre, is making biobased, formaldehydefree glycolic acid using synthetic biology. The fermentation technology produces high-purity ingredients valued in the cosmetics market, with a lower carbon footprint. 
  • Reazent (Halifax, NS), supported by Verschuren Centre, makes efficient, high-efficacy organic replacements for agrochemicals. These products help in crop disease control, yield growth, and abiotic stress resistance in the agricultural industry. 
  • ReelData (Halifax, NS), supported by Innovacorp, is developing artificial intelligence and computer vision software for aquaculture, providing real time metrics to fish farms. This reduces wasted fish feed and mortality by tracking fish health, hunger, and weight. 
  • SeeO2 Energy (Calgary, AB), supported by Innovate Calgary, is constructing high temperature electrolyzers capable of converting carbon dioxide and/or water into valuable fuels. This net negative carbon process can be used in green plastics, chemical and metal processing industries. 
  • Solid State of Mind (Montreal, QC), supported by Centech Montréal, is developing an artificial intelligence capable of adapting to real-time changes in the environment. Designed to function on low power, these robotic systems will cut down CO2 emissions.  
  • 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.