CTC #37 - Funding for building decarbonization, ocean-based climate research, and a new AgTech fund
Plus - battery makers continue to expand in Ontario, Trudeau backs nuclear, and more
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In this weeks issue, we have a $27M raise for Montreal’s BrainBox AI, who also acquired part of ABB’s U.S. business, an $8.5M seed raise for a new nuclear startup in Toronto, and Cyclic Material’s Series A round for their critical minerals recycling technology.
Elsewhere in climate, Dalhousie secured a monster grant to research the ocean’s impact on climate and role as a carbon sink, more automakers are following Volkswagen’s lead by setting up battery production in Ontario, and Trudeau doubles down on support for nuclear. Let’s go!
🏬 BrainBox AI (Montreal, QC) secured a $27M investment from the Quebec government and global electronics company ABB. BrainBox AI uses artificial intelligence to optimize the energy consumption of HVAC systems in buildings, cutting emissions by up to 40% and costs by up to 25%. As part of the deal, BrainBox AI also acquired ABB’s multi-site residential energy management system which includes ABB’s New Hampshire staff and 12,000 retail locations.
♻️ Cyclic Materials (Kingston, ON) closed $27M in Series A funding from Energy Impact Partners, BMW i Ventures, carbon removal startup Planetary Technologies, and others. The funding will allow Cyclic to scale up its metals recycling technology, which can return critical minerals (e.g. those used in EV batteries) to supply chains.
⚛️ Aalo Atomic (Toronto, ON) raised $8.5M in seed funding from Fifty Years (deep-tech VC), Valor Equity Partners (early SpaceX and Tesla investors) and other funds & angels. The startup is focused on commercializing small nuclear fission reactors that have high technological readiness.
🍎 Vivid Machines (Toronto, ON) closed a $5.8M seed round from BDC Capital Thrive Venture Fund, Conexus Venture Fund, MaRS IAF and others. Vivid Machines uses real-time spectral sensors and computer vision systems to optimize orchard operations and supply chains.
🧪 Dispersa (Montreal, QC) raised $3M in pre-seed funding from Invest Nova Scotia, the Circular Economy Fund and others. The funding will be used to scale up the production of Dispersa’s waste-derived bio surfactants, a key ingredient in consumer goods like detergents and cosmetics.
⛽ Braya Renewable Fuels (Come-By-Chance, NL) secured a $300M equity investment from Energy Capital Partners. The funding will be used to convert Braya’s refinery to renewable fuels including renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen, and ammonia.
🏭 Progressive Planet (Kamloops, BC) raised $1.25M through a private placement to pay down high interest debt. Progressive Planet produces a range of low-carbon products including cement additives and fertilizers.
🧪 Three companies each received $150K in funding through the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges to develop solutions that prevent the release of microplastics from car tires.
Applied Quantum Materials (Edmonton, AB) - reinforcing additive for tires to minimize microplastic release
Nova Graphene Canada (Dartmouth, NS) - graphene-enhanced rubber
Stema Punch and Die (Cambridge, ON) - specialized compositions for tires to improve their wear and help stop the shed of microplastics
🏭 Emissions Reduction Alberta announced project funding for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects:
Carbon Management Canada (Calgary, AB) - $1.1M for low-cost, high resolution monitoring technology for CO2 storage facilities
Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, AB) - $600K to use captured CO2 to replace cement in concrete
🌊 Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced funding for three sustainable ocean projects:
$3.3M to support Graphite Innovation and Technologies’ new net-zero facility to produce sustainable marine coatings
$7M to DeNova to expand production of sustainable proteins for aquaculture
$6.6M to support the deployment of Katal Energy’s first supply depot for sustainable drop-in fuels to reduce the emissions from diesel-powered vehicles.
♻️ B.C. announced $8M in funding for 14 projects aimed at reducing plastic waste and emissions. Recipients include Metaspectral (high-accuracy sorting for recycling), Sharewares (reusable packaging platform), and Advanced BioCarbon 3D (3D printed housing from recycled materials).
The51 closed $30M for its new Food and AgTech fund. The fund will focus on founders solving food-related climate, environmental and farming challenges from pre-seed to Series A.
Brookfield Asset Management plans to raise more than $15B USD to invest in green hydrogen and carbon capture, alongside more established investments in wind, solar and batteries. Brookfield raised $15 billion in 2022 for its first transition fund.
📈 Milestones & Growth
BluWave-ai signed an agreement with Dubai Taxi Corp. to use its AI-powered optimization software to manage fleet energy use.
FLO, an electric charging network operator, secured a $220M loan commitment from Canada Infrastructure Bank to install over 2,000 fast charging ports across the country, doubling the number of existing chargers
Vancouver-based non-profit Canopy Planet won $60M from The Audacious Project to create connections between next-generation textile material innovators and major brands.
Cap Clean Energy, based in Calgary, will build out a biofuel facility in Canada to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel in partnership with US-based Raven SR.
🔭 Here & There
The inside story on how Canada Infrastructure Bank overcame a slow start to deploy almost $10B for key infrastructure & climate projects.
Get ready for re-commerce, as brands embrace the secondhand market.
How one Quebec community is unlocking public transit with on-demand apps.
Your next gym shirt could be made from microorganisms instead of fossil fuels.
Podcast: Evoco founder Jason Robinson on how their plant-based materials are replacing fossil fuels in footwear.
How “speed cameras for methane” like Montreal’s GHGSat are keeping tabs on polluters.
🌎 In the news
Trudeau doubled down on nuclear energy during an event with the German President, saying Canada is “very serious” about reviving nuclear energy production to drive decarbonization.
The climate incentives from Canada’s spring budget are getting recognized: Canada ranked the #2 place to invest in green energy projects, and a report from TD Bank shows spending on climate has remained competitive with the U.S.
The federal government is investigating allegations of financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest at Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a key part of the government’s early-stage climate tech investment strategy.
The Bank of Canada started disclosing climate risks to its operations and balance sheet. The new disclosure will act as a model for other institutions and signals this is something other institutions will need to do.
Canada’s environment commissioner called on the federal banking regulator to take more meaningful climate action, including clearer reporting requirements. Expect the regulator, OSFI, to issue stronger climate disclosure rules this year.
Canada Post is now offering carbon neutral ground delivery through carbon offsets, with a focus on Indigenous-led and nature-based projects in Canada.
The Cement Association of Canada released an action plan for the industry to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, including interim targets for 2030 and 2040, and highlighting specific areas to drive emissions reductions.
A group of ten First Nations launched a lawsuit against the Ontario and Canadian governments to assert their rights to govern their own territories. Consultation and partnership with Indigenous peoples will need to be front and centre as Canada expands critical mineral production.
Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption continues slow and steady growth, hitting 9.6% of all new vehicle registrations in Q4 2022, up from 8.7% in Q3.
Details around the new Volkswagen plant in Ontario are coming to light, including approximately $8 to $13B in production subsidies and grants over 10 years to match what Volkswagen would have received in the U.S. The plant is expected to create 3,000 jobs and $200B in economic benefit.
Ontario is getting into the carbon capture game, repealing a previous ban on injecting CO2 underground and proposing new rules for CCS pilot projects.
A new report found that offshore wind in the Great Lakes could be the answer to Ontario’s energy crunch, calling for the moratorium on offshore wind to be lifted.
British Columbia expanded its Integrated Marketplace initiative to the Port of Prince Rupert, matching local innovators with industry to help reduce emissions. The initiative already includes electrification efforts at Vancouver International Airport.
The Alberta government will support the International CCS Knowledge Centre, an open-source repository of knowledge and information about carbon capture and storage, with $3M in funding.
Quebec is facing an energy shortfall with demand for clean energy outpacing supply, driven by power export agreements and efforts to attract manufacturers with the promise of low-cost clean energy.
Dalhousie received $154M from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund to study the ocean’s role in climate change. The ocean is a critical but not thoroughly understood carbon sink, and the research will have applications for future mitigation efforts including ocean-based carbon removal.
Memorial University, University of Victoria and Concordia University also received funding for research into clean arctic shipping, community energy transition, and electrifying communities respectively.
📣 What’s going on
📅 EV & Charging Expo: Hosted by Electric Autonomy, this event is an opportunity to see the latest in electric vehicle charging, test drive electric trucks and vans and connect with key partners in the EV transition. May 17-18th, Toronto.
📅 Directory Launch – Exploring Canada’s New CCUS Landscape: In this online event, Foresight Canada will introduce their new directory of domestic and global support available to CCUS technology developers. May 10th, Online.
Featured postings from some of Canada’s most innovative companies:
🌱 Head of Finance - erthos (GTA, Ontario)
⚡️ Machine Learning Developer - BrainBox AI (Montreal, QC)
🔬 Research and Development Scientist - Arca (Vancouver, BC)
🏗️ Product Marketing Manager - CarbonCure (Remote in Ontario)
Have a role you’d like to promote? Hit reply or drop me a line on Twitter
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and if you’re enjoying the newsletter, share it with a friend!
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