In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was conducted for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI). The SEA concluded this proposal is unlikely to result in important environmental effects, but presents the potential to improve productivity and facilitate clean growth, thereby advancing certain goals and targets of the 2016-2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS).
In a continued effort to advance the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government of Canada has launched a new funding initiative to accelerate innovation through superclusters. Through a small number of high-value, strategic co-investments, ISI will support industry-led consortia to undertake activities that increase business investment in research and development, foster commercialisation, and enhance business process innovation.
The program's objectives have the potential to improve productivity and lead to innovative and cleaner technologies. This could result in less material use and/or lower GHG emission which, in turn, is expected to ensure more efficient performance and reduce environmental footprint across sectors. Positive environmental impacts are also expected amongst the program's anticipated outcomes, and will be enhanced if proponents successfully propose clean technology-related projects among their bids.
Therefore, the ISI has the potential to help make progress on the following FSDS goals and targets:
Effective action on climate change
- Long-term goal: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius
- Medium-term target: By 2030, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels
- Long-term goal: A growing clean technology industry in Canada contributes to clean growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy
- Medium-term target: Implement our Mission Innovation commitment to double federal government investments in clean energy research, development and demonstration, by 2020, from 2015 levels