Summary of the Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Technology Fund

March 2018

Summary of the Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Technology Fund[PDF - 117 KB]

Program Description

  • Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) established in 2001.
  • SD Tech Fund supports demonstration of technologies leading to commercialization.
  • SD Tech Fund is the major source of government financial support to help bring cleantech projects to demonstration stage.
  • Target population is Canadian companies developing technology with environmental benefits, commercial potential, and who form consortium of partners.
  • $893 million in SD Tech Fund funding allocated to 341 cleantech

About the evaluation

  • The evaluation focussed on the progress of the SD Tech Fund toward its intermediate and long-term outcomes, relevance, and efficiency and economy.
  • It covers the period from 2001 to March 31, 2017.

What the evaluation found

  • There is a continued need for SD Tech Fund support.
  • Consortium model is critical in facilitating partnerships.
  • About 75% of SD Tech Fund projects have made progress towards demonstration or have successfully demonstrated.
  • Although the mandate of the SD Tech Fund ends at demonstration, about one-third of recipients reach the market (i.e., commercialize).
  • SD Tech Fund has helped create economic/environmental benefits for the economy, despite estimation challenges.
  • SDTC has a governance structure in place supporting effective delivery of SD Tech Fund.  Some work is needed to implement recommendations from a recent review.
  • SDTC is efficiently and effectively delivering the SD Tech Fund, although some timeliness concerns exist.
  • Numerous entities require similar information both at application and post-demonstration.

Recommendations (as agreed upon by management)

  • The Clean Technology and Clean Growth Branch (CTCGB) should encourage SDTC to continue to work with other partners to develop relationships to enhance the identification of opportunities for cleantech producers to progress towards commercialization, including connecting firms with international opportunities/supply chains and sources of follow-on funding.
  • CTCGB should encourage SDTC to work with the Clean Growth Hub to address some of the limitations of the administrative data, including developing standards to enable consistency of the data and collecting information related to key performance indicators, as well as environmental and economic benefits.
  • CTCGB should encourage SDTC to fully implement the recommendations stemming from a recent review of program governance.
  • CTCGB should work with SDTC to identify opportunities to streamline the application and contracting process to improve contracting timelines.
  • CTCGB should encourage SDTC to investigate other information-sharing and streamlined reporting options, including collaboration with other data collection and funding entities, with the aim of minimizing duplication and reducing the administrative burden on companies.