SDTC, short for Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is a non-profit organization that works to support and finance clean technology development and demonstration that will offer comprehensive solutions in areas including clean air and climate change, which will then provide health, environmental, and economic benefits to all Canadians. SDTC was established in 2001 by the Government of Canada and its mission is to “Act as the primary catalyst in building a sustainable development technology infrastructure in Canada.” SDTC’s goals include bridging the gap between innovation and commercialization, reduce the risk of clean technologies to attract investment and increase commercial success, and assist innovators in understanding the market and provide opportunities to bring their products to light.
1 ) SDTC Gives out $40 Million to 18 Companies in 2010. In July of 2010, SDTC provided funding to 18 clean technology companies across Canada to boost the green economy. Totally approximately $40 million, the funding went to help move companies’ innovation technology solutions right to the market. An example of a company is Etalim Inc, in British Columbia, a company that developed small-scale thermal-electric generators used for converting heat to electricity. Gestion TechnoCap Inc. in Quebec is another company that received funding for its development of a device that increases the overall efficiency of solar electricity generating systems. One last company is Saskatoon-based Targeted Growth Canada Inc, which produced a new jet biofuels from camelina, an oilseed crop.
2 ) SDTC Gives Millions in Funding in 2009 to Three British Columbia Based Companies. In 2009, the Canadian Government, through the SDTC invested $54 million to support a number of clean technology companies. Three of these companies were based in British Columbia. Lignol Innovations Ltd. developed a new biorefinery technology to increase the yield of ethanol and improve economic and environmental benefits of all cellulosic ethanol facilities. Saltworks Technologies Inc. is in the process of developing a thermal powered desalination system that will reduce electrical energy requirements up to 80 percent, improving the accessibility and affordability of clean water. Finally, SunSelect Produce Inc. is using biomass-based combustion along with carbon dioxide storage and gas cleaning to accelerate the process of photosynthesis in greenhouses.
3 ) SDTC Supported 2006 Industrial Vehicle Fuel Cell Test. In 2006, SDTC provided funding for a two year project along with Hydrogenics, GM Canada, and Nacco Materials Handling Group to demonstrate how viable hydrogen technology is for industrial vehicles, such as commercial lift trucks. The trials will demonstrate how fuel cell technology can provide an economically viable and clean power alternative for the materials handling industry.
4 ) SDTC and Veolia Partner to Commercialize Cleantech Innovation. In March of 2011 SDTC partnered with Veolia to increase the commercialization and market uptake of new clean technologies in Canada. The two companies plan to provide clean technology entrepreneurs with finances resources as well as business insight from SDTC and commercial, technical and operational resources provided by Veolia. The partnership aims to increase the deployment of clean technology innovations, boost efficiency in conducting and sourcing due diligence, and increase the number and rate of implementation of commercial clean technologies providing a positive environmental and economic return.
5 ) SDTC Provides Funding for New Ottawa Initiative. SDTC provided $42.5 million in funding to new clean technology projects in Ottawa. The funding is going toward the development as well as the demonstration of new clean technologies and fast-track these technologies to the market. Initiatives led by Hatch Ltd. and Plasco Energy Group Ltd are being provided with funding. In total, the 15 projects awarded with funding come from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, energy utilization, power generation, waste management, transportation, and paper products.
6 ) NextGen Biofuels Fund. The NextGen Biofuels Fund looks to assist Canadian biofuels technology projects’ chances of gaining success in the market by assisting them bridge the financial barrier and help the businesses scale-up their new technology solutions to a big, demonstration-scale plant. Because biofuels technologies have a certain technology risk associated with them than other established industries, it becomes a lot harder to get debt financing. This fund aims to change that.
7 ) SD Tech Fund. The SD Tech Fund is a business support initiative to fill the increasing gap between applied clean technology research and the commercialization of the product. Projects for the fund are considered with they are able to develop a new technology that will boost the utilization efficiency of water or clean air or fights against current climate change. The funding covers 33 percent of all eligible expenses to help further research and development efforts without giving up intellectual property rights.
8 ) SDTC Partners with Tenova Goodfellow Inc. for Energy Efficiency Project. In February of 2011, SDTC partnered with Tenova Goodfellow Inc. to demonstrate the “Next Gen Energy Efficiency Breakthrough Technology” system for the electric arc furnace industry. This project looks to demonstrate a real-time, comprehensive process control and monitoring system where electric furnaces are operated and controlled according to total chemical and electrical energy input that is adjusted for energy losses. “Clean technologies are being integrated into Canada’s main industrial sectors, and the project led by TGI is a great example of this,” says Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. “The Next Gen EAF technology will allow the EAF steelmaking industry to reduce both its costs and its GHG emissions, combining the economic and environmental benefits of clean technologies.”
9 ) The Hydrogen Assisted Renewable Power Project. In September of 2010 the Hydrogen Assisted Renewable Power Project was created as a partnership between SDTC, BC Hydro, Powertech and GE. The energy storage project looks to lessen greenhouse gas emissions and alter how remote communities across the world are powered. The project is beginning in Bella Coola, British Columbia because, due to its remote location, it is not connected to the provincial electricity grid run by BC Hydro. Currently, the community has been using diesel generators which continue to create emissions. The new technology will reduce the need for diesel generators and help efficiently manage energy. “Our Government is working to position Canada as the world’s foremost clean energy superpower,” said the Honourable Stockwell Day. “With investments like GE’s groundbreaking Renewable Microgrid Systems, our Government is helping Canadians living in remote communities to be less dependent on fossil fuels. Through this project, we are stimulating Canada’s green economy, creating jobs and helping protect the environment.”
10 ) Pathogen Detection Systems Investment. In Kingston, Ontario is 2009, SDTC funded a new technology used to reduce the cost and time associated with testing water for dangerous pathogens. “By investing in Canadian technologies such as Pathogen Detection Systems’ clean water technology, our Government is helping to stimulate a new green economy in Canada, creating jobs and helping to protect the environment,” said David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board. The Pathogen Detection Systems will integrate a microbiological water monitoring system alongside sophisticated software for water treatment optimization, reducing overall time by up to 80 percent, reducing costs and energy consumption, improving test integrity, and providing a number of environmental benefits.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org