CTC #30 - Funding for lithium, alt proteins & seed-stage co’s, plus Canada x Japan talk clean energy
Plus - Canadian co’s top the Cleantech 100, “just transition” strikes a nerve, and featured jobs
Welcome to another issue of Climate Tech Canada! If you didn’t see our announcement, last week we launched a dedicated job board for Canadian job seekers & climate tech companies. We’ve already had our first postings added from the community and looking forward to seeing many more!
We’ve got a great issue this week featuring more than $161M raised for lithium extraction, plant-based proteins and ag-tech, plus government seed and project funding for 40+ companies across the country. Canadian companies snagged spots in the annual Cleantech 100 list yet again, Canada and Japan strengthen clean energy ties, and Alberta reacts to the new federal “just transition” bill.
Let’s get into it!
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Funding and growth
Summit Nanotech (Calgary, AB) secured $67.4M in a Series A2 bridge round for its lithium extraction technology. Summit Nanotech’s nanomaterial technology enables direct lithium extraction from brine water. The funding will help Summit build demonstration units for customers in South America.
No Meat Factory (Coldstream, BC) closed $56.2M in Series B funding to expand its production of plant-based proteins for third-party customers. The funding will enable the company to open a second facility and expand its product offering.
Terramera (Vancouver, BC) raised $8M in seed funding and launched a subsidiary, enrichAg, focused on tools to support soil health. enrichAg’s soil analysis tech helps farmers understand nutrient levels, optimize fertilizer use, and participate in carbon credit markets.
Sollum Technologies (Montreal, QC) raised $30M in funding for its smart horticultural lighting solution. Sollum's LED lighting recreates the full spectrum of sunlight and allows growers to program their lighting remotely. The funding will be used to expand its product by developing new “spectral recipes”.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced $2.5M in seed funding grants for 25 companies working on agriculture, transportation, the built environment and more. Close to half of the companies receiving funding are also led by women. Recipients include:
Picketa Systems (Fredericton, NB) - precision agriculture through real-time plant tissue analysis
AI Shading (Calgary, AB) - intelligent window shading that helps property managers optimize building energy efficiency
Biome Renewables (Toronto, ON) - working to reduce global shipping emissions through propulsion advancements
Kathairos (Calgary, AB) received $3.9M from the PrairiesCan Jobs and Growth Fund. Kathairos provides nitrogen-powered monitoring devices for oil and gas wells, eliminating methane use and venting.
Excir (Calgary, AB) also received $2.5M from PrairiesCan to develop a pilot plant for its metals recycling technology. Excir’s technology upcycles catalytic converter and electronic waste into precious metals.
HTEC (Nanaimo, BC) received $10M from Natural Resources Canada for its clean hydrogen technology. The funding will support a new production facility.
Waste Robotics (Trois-Rivières, QC) received $186K from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) to expand sales and marketing for its robotic waste-sorting system that increases the precision and effectiveness of recycling plants.
Theron Sport (Shawinigan, QC) also received $160K from CED to hp cover startup costs for its electric all-terrain vehicles.
Six companies are finalists in the Food Waste Reduction Challenge’s Novel Technologies stream. Each finalist will receive up to $450K to test their technology with a commercial partner. Finalists include:
ALT TEX (Kitchener, ON) - biodegradable and carbon neutral textiles re-engineered from food waste
Carbon Lock Technologies (Winnipeg, MB) - converts food waste into a biocarbon that sequesters atmospheric CO2
Genecis Bioindustries (Scarborough, ON) - turns food waste into compostable bioplastics using specialized bacteria
Industry organization Canadian Food Innovation Network will provide funding for eight startups working on sustainable food systems:
Theory Mesh (Winnipeg, MB) received $1.2M for its blockchain supply chain management software that will allow consumers to pull up sustainability data on grocery store products
Liven Proteins (Toronto, ON) received $100K to develop its animal-free collagen, produced by upcycling food industry by-products
Smallfood (Dartmouth, NS) secured $99K to develop bio-based alternatives to seafood-derived DHA
Saltwinds Coffee Company (Douglas, NB) received $57K to develop a carbon capture system for coffee roasteries
14 B.C. companies received funding from Innovate BC’s Fast Pilot program including: GRT (soil contamination), NuGrid Power (resilient power grids) and Wiser Marine Technologies (solar powered marine vehicles.
Milestones & Growth
Canadian climate tech companies secured 12 spots on the annual Global Cleantech 100 list. Companies include long-duration energy storage producer e-Zinc (Toronto, ON), water optimization platform Pani (Vancouver, BC) and geothermal tech company Eavor (Calgary, AB).
Agtech startups IntelliCulture (Kitchener, ON) and Precision AI (Regina, SK) were selected to participate in John Deere’s 2023 AgTech Startup Collaborator program.
Nano One Materials, based in Burnaby, B.C., partnered with materials technology giant Umicore to develop a low-waste, low-energy production process for cathode active materials, a key component of lithium-ion batteries.
Montreal’s Ecolomondo closed a private placement, securing $1M in funding. Ecolomondo recoverz valuable materials from tires that have reached their end of life. The new funding will be used for operating capital and to complete a new facility in Hawkesbury, ON
In The News
The newly announced “just transition” bill that will come out later this year is being met with mixed reactions: Alberta Premier Danielle Smith positioned the bill as an attempt to eliminate 2.7M jobs and Alberta’s oil and gas sector as a whole. Meanwhile, oil & gas CEOs shared their plan to ramp up in response to the energy transition, with Cenovus expected to spend ~$70B and create 35,000 jobs by 2050.
The negative hype from Premier Smith isn’t surprising, but the branding of the bill definitely isn’t helping. “Just transition” is used by academics and activists, but in the resource sector a “transition” often signals a shut down - not a switch from one mode to another.
➡️ For more, check out 'Just transition' is not the oil sector's doom … It's the insurance policy
Canada is strengthening ties with Japan on clean energy trade after a visit from Japanese PM Fumio Kishida. While Kishida’s focus was acquiring liquified natural gas exports (which Trudeau remained non-committal on), he also called out nuclear power as an area for further collaboration alongside general science, tech and innovation. Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson visited Japan shortly after to reinforce the partnership and highlighted opportunities for collaboration around hydrogen and critical minerals for EV supply chains.
Climate was also a central theme at the North American Leaders’ Summit, which brought together Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to promote cooperation across the continent. Priority areas include a commitment to “act quickly” on clean energy, production and adoption of zero-emission vehicles and a transition to cleaner fuels, including hydrogen.
Other federal moves:
Canada joins the First Movers Coalition, an international business group using purchasing power to create market demand for early stage solutions in eight hard-to-abate sectors. Participation will help Canadian climate companies reach global markets, and connect domestic industry with the tools to decarbonize
The feds announced a $9.74M investment into Alberta’s hydrogen industry to strengthen supply chains, increase access to fuel and testing facilities, and showcase the benefits of hydrogen for heavy vehicles.
A new “single window” website aims to consolidate federal programs supporting ZEV deployment. The resource is a one-stop-shop to help locate funding opportunities and resources.
Cities are investing in zero-emission bus fleets: Winnipeg finalized its first order of 16 electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses, with another 150 expected by 2027. Meanwhile, the city of Ottawa received $350M from the federal government to support the purchase of 350 zero-emission buses and related charging infrastructure. The city is targeting a zero-emission fleet by 2036.
Zero-emission vehicles sales hit another record in Q3 2022 according to StatsCan, making up 8.7% of all new vehicle registrations. Battery-electric trucks saw a huge jump, from one unit in Q1 2022 to 1,260 in Q3.
Ontario expects to bring in more than $2B through industrial carbon taxes, but hasn’t shared plans for where those funds will go.
Alberta updated its carbon credit system, anticipating a surplus from new carbon capture and storage projects in the future. The updates add a “sequestration credit” for CO2 captured at a large emitter and a “capture recognition tonne”, which allows emitters to deduct sequestered emissions from CCS from their total emissions.
What’s going on
📅 BUILDEX Vancouver: Western Canada’s largest forum connecting the building industry, this year’s BUILDEX includes sessions on sustainable building, a Climate Resiliency & Retrofit Learning Lab and more. Feb 15-16th in Vancouver.
📅 R3: Connecting for Climate Innovation: Hosted by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Opportunities New Brunswick, the R3 event is a forum for entrepreneurs, researchers and policy-makers to discuss climate solutions. This year’s event focuses on funding opportunities for climate tech innovations. Feb 23rd in Fredericton.
💡 Energy Innovation Program: Applications are open for this Natural Resources Canada program for research and demonstration projects related to carbon capture & utilization and carbon storage and transportation. Applications close April 17th.
💡DAC to the Future Challenge: Led by South African industrial supplier Sasol in partnership with carbonNEXT, this challenge is seeking solutions to implement direct air capture into its industrial feedstock value chain. Applications are open until Feb 28th.
Hand-picked jobs from some of Canada’s most interesting climate tech companies. See more at our new job board.
Product Manager, Edge & Integrations at Peak Power - Toronto, ON
Chef(fe) de Culture at GoodLeaf Farms - Montreal, QC
Director, Marketing & Communications at Carbon Engineering - Vancouver, BC
Director, Measurement and Verification at Parity - Toronto, ON or Remote
Data Engineer, Python at Peak Power - Toronto, ON
People Operations & HR Manager at Salient Energy - Dartmouth, NS
That’s all for this week. As always, thanks for reading and if you’re enjoying the newsletter, consider forwarding to a friend!