Canada boasts a number of clean tech hubs—or “clusters” as the sector calls them—but Ontario remains at the centre of the action.
Some 35 percent of the nation’s clean tech companies are based in the province, a recent Analytica Advisors report concludes–10 percent more than in any other Canadian province. Further, data from the Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association reveals that three Canadian provinces, led by Ontario with $676 million, attracted more venture capital funding in 2013 than the vast majority of U.S. states—with clean tech as an important driver.
Credit in large part goes to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The agency’s TechFund invests in a given technology’s development and demonstration phases, helping prove viability in a real-world setting.
For example, SDTC has invested in BIOX Canada, a renewable fuels company based in Hamilton. BIOX is working on a technology that converts agricultural seed oil, cooking oils and grease, animal tallows and fats into biodiesel at atmospheric pressure and near-ambient temperatures. This lowers production costs, helping make the final product more competitive with petroleum diesel.
Ontario is also home of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance –a collective of regional and municipal economic development organizations. Last week, alliance members courted investors at HANNOVER MESSE—the world’s leading industrial technology trade fair.
With more than $600 million allocated over 246 technology projects across Canada, SDTC has successfully leveraged an additional $2.2 billion in funding from project partners including global clean technology companies. International investors appreciate the significance of Ontario attracting more SDTC funding than any other province in Canada.
The Ontario Clean Technology Alliance offers a highly educated workforce, growth opportunities, a low-risk business environment, and generous R&D tax credits.
Sean Dyke is the 2014 Chair of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance and a Director of the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance—an Ontario Clean Technology Alliance regional member.