Developing or adopting clean tech? Find the right support

5 min read

Two technicians in distance discussing between long rows of photovoltaic panels

Innovators working in the clean-tech space are leading some of the fastest growing businesses in Canada right now. Whether you’re using sustainable construction materials or automating a cricket farm, clean technology helps everyone use resources more responsibly and reduce our collective environmental impact.

If your company, big or small, is looking to undertake projects in this field, there are a variety of supports and programs, including dedicated clean-tech funding, that the government can offer to help you achieve your goals.

Here are some of the top clean technology resources innovators are looking into right now:

Sustainable Development Technology Fund

Do you have a product or service with the potential to scale and deliver significant environmental benefits? Whether you run a start-up or have a solid foot in the marketplace already, this fund might be right for you. Get up to 40% of your costs covered for a project that helps fight climate change, or deals with air, water, and soil, when you contribute at least 25% of the costs.

Impact Canada Challenge Hub

Are you an innovator that can solve big problems with unique solutions? Take on one of Impact Canada’s challenges and help spur major breakthroughs. The challenge types include:

  • Challenge prizes - outcomes-based funding awards
  • Grand challenges - competitions to fund potential innovations
  • Competitive accelerators - intensive and time-limited business support

Or, if you’re looking to build sustainable solutions that have a meaningful, positive impact on Indigenous communities, Impact Canada’s Indigenous Initiatives aim to bring forward ideas inspired by Indigenous knowledge, regardless of the stage of development.

Clean Foundation — Science Horizons Youth Internship

Looking for some help with a project that fights climate change? You could get a wage subsidy of up to $25,000 if you hire a graduate student for an internship of 6 to 12 months. The subsidy can cover up to 50% of their salary, with additional support if you’re hiring from an employment equity group or have extra costs related to training, transportation, personal protective equipment, etc.

Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program

Get a repayable contribution of up to $50 million for a project that involves renewable energy, an emerging technology, or grid modernization. The contribution covers up to 10%, 30%, and 50% of the project costs for each of these 3 streams, respectively.

The Net Zero Accelerator (NZA) initiative

The NZA initiative is focused on keeping Canada competitive in a net-zero economy by funding large-scale projects in key industrial sectors, in these three areas:

  • Decarbonization of large emitters - focusing on near-term emissions reduction
  • Industrial transformation - helping established industries transition to the net zero economy
  • Clean technology and battery ecosystem development - capitalizing on net-zero opportunities by fostering emerging sectors

The NZA accepts applications on an on-going, non-competitive basis. If you are considering applying, you can request a consultation by sending an email to sifinfo-infofsi@ised-isde.gc.ca.

Funding is provided for 2 categories of projects, each with their own set of requirements:

Be prepared to describe your planned or potential reductions in GHG emissions along with your innovation and technological enhancements.

Clean Growth Hub

Navigating the wide range of federal funding available for clean tech projects can be a challenge but the Clean Growth Hub is there to help. If you have a clearly defined clean tech project and are ready to explore your funding options, visit the Hub. Bringing together experts from many government partners, the Hub helps clean tech developers and adopters seek funding, support, technical expertise, and more. They offer advisory services and have a number of online resources designed to answer your questions and get you the information you need.

Use the clean tech toolkit for help on applying for federal grants and contribution funds.

#ProTip: The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Assessment Tool can help you determine your technology development stage. You’ll want to provide as much detail as you can about your project when applying. You may even want to get some coaching on how to calculate your environmental assessment and be able to quantify how you plan to reduce your environmental impact.

Wondering what else might be out there for you?

Find these and other relevant programs with the Business Benefits Finder (innovation.canada.ca), an interactive, online tool that brings federal, provincial and territorial supports into one place. To find the right support to boost your clean technology project, select “reduce energy pollution and improve energy efficiency” as your main goal when filling out your story. To get even more tailored results, tell us what industry your business is in.

You can also add more fuel to your innovative projects by checking out the “Researchers and facilities” section, giving you the option to partner up with a variety of academic, health, and scientific organizations to access professional expertise and test your ideas.

#ProTip: Partnering with other organizations or local municipalities offers many advantages in terms of access to resources, but it can also help mitigate risk for your project. Collaborations demonstrate that others believe in the project, adding to its viability.

Now more than ever, Canadians are looking to innovators like you to push the boundaries and discover how we can all build a cleaner, greener Canada. There are millions of dollars of funding available to help you reduce emissions and prevent the acceleration of climate change through your business ventures. Don’t miss out on support to help you go further, faster.

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Questions?

Our Innovation Advisors can help. Get connected through our contact centre at 1‑833‑201‑4358 |TTY: 1‑866‑694‑8389, or send us details about your business. We’re committed to prompt and reliable service standards, and can respond to most inquiries within 24 hours.