CTC #40 - Funding for ag-tech & feds boost sustainable jobs transition
Plus - Quebec claims "Energy Transition Valley" title, First Nations assert rights in mineral exploration, MaRS backs carbon-negative tech and more
Welcome to another issue of Climate Tech Canada! This week I finished reading Walkable City and it’s one of those books that changes how you see the world around you. It’s also a great reminder that while we need tech innovation to deliver climate solutions in our cities (think on-demand transit, traffic monitoring, and micro-mobility), we also need to pull the levers of policy, city planning and land-use to make a difference. And in some cases, we need these changes to make these tech solutions feasible. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in transit, urban planning or the role cities can play in addressing climate change.
In this week’s issue, we have fresh funding for Vive Crop Protection, a startup developing efficient pesticide and fungicide solutions, while a number of startups across hydrogen, carbon capture, bio-chemicals, and energy storage clinched funding from competitions.
Elsewhere in climate, the feds announced new funding and programs to support skill development and career placement programs to help workers move into the low-carbon economy. Quebec launches the “Energy Transition Valley” innovation zone, First Nations in BC are taking the province to court to ensure mineral exploration respects the duty to consult, and MaRS launches their new Carbon Management Mission. Let’s go!
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🌱 Vive Crop Protection (Mississauga, ON) secured a $11.2M Series C extension with participation from BDC, Urbana Corp, Emmertech, Lex Capital and others. Vive’s solutions allow growers to use pesticides and fungicides more efficiently. The funding will be used for R&D growth, market expansion and marketing.
☁️ TerraFixing (Ottawa, ON) secured an undisclosed amount from payment provider Klarna to develop their direct air capture technology designed to operate in cold remote locations.
☁️ TurnCO2 (Calgary, AB) won $50K at the Investure pitch competition to develop CO2 capture solutions for the food and beverage industry.
🧪 Climate Change Materials (Calgary, AB) also secured $10K at Investure to develop its technology to embed biomass waste in construction materials.
The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy announced $5.2M in funding for nine climate tech companies across battery storage, biofuels and hydrogen. Recipients include:
Mangrove Lithium (Vancouver, BC) - low-carbon lithium production
Anodyne Chemistries (Burnaby, BC) - converting CO2 into low-carbon fuels
Illuming Power (Vancouver, BC) - innovative hydrogen fuel cell design
🧪 Several climate tech startups were selected for Ontario Genomics’ BioCreate program, receiving $150K in funding and 18 months of mentorship and tech access. Recipients include:
Biofect Innovations - microbe-based alternative proteins
Genecis - sustainable bioplastics using organic materials
Liven Proteins - high-quality proteins for plant-based foods
Carbon capture company Arca announced a new partnership with three major nickel producers to deploy its carbon capture technology at existing mines.
EVLO Energy launched its new flexible battery storage system, EVLOFLEX, offering a small footprint with high energy density.
Vancouver’s DevvStream introduced its blockchain-based Buildings and Facilities Carbon Offset Program to create offsets from building decarbonization efforts.
SHIFT Energy will partner with Blackstone Energy to integrate their AI-powered energy management system with Blackstone’s energy platform.
Surrey, B.C.’s RecycLiCo Battery Materials announced it will build a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Taiwan in partnership with Zenith Chemical.
FLO announced a partnership with Nissan Canada to offer FLO Home chargers at Nissan dealerships and include a $150 charging credit for new customers.
Cascadia Seaweed introduced its first commercial product, a fertilizer made from sustainably harvested kelp, as the company looks to raise its next funding round.
Brookfield Renewables will acquire North Carolina-based Duke Energy’s renewable energy business for $3.74B, adding 5.9GW of renewables capacity.
🔭 Here & there
Think climate isn’t a software problem? Think again
A look ahead to the future of low-carbon hydrogen in Canada
Uninsurable: State Farm pulls out of parts of the U.S. with high climate risk
2023 will set the record for largest increase in renewable energy deployment ever
Why clean energy operators need to build in cybersecurity from day one
A new job board for Canada’s clean transportation industry
The battery storage project advancing reconciliation and energy reliability
🌎 In the news
A Just Transition, continued: The feds announced $30M over two years for youth job training in fields with positive environmental outcomes. Recipients include Indigenous Clean Energy, Clean Foundation Nova Scotia, and others. Edmonton-based Iron & Earth also received $16M from the federal government to help fossil fuel workers move into clean energy jobs through upskilling and job training. The focus on worker supports is part of the federal government’s “Sustainable Jobs Plan”, which aims to mitigate the impact of the energy transition on fossil fuel workers while redeploying their skills into the growing renewable energy sector.
The Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuels launched a national roadmap for sustainable fuels (SAFs). The roadmap emphasizes leveraging commercially ready SAFs, commercializing all feedstocks, and advancing homegrown innovation.
A coalition of leaders from low-carbon industries visited Ottawa to build cross-party support for the industry. Under the banner New Economy Canada, the group brings together a wide range of players, including Teck Resources, startups like E3 Lithium and CarbiCrete, and industry associations like the Cement Association of Canada.
Ottawa will host the UN’s fourth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution in 2024. The committee is developing an international and legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.
A Senate Committee report says that more government support is needed to build out the low-carbon hydrogen sector. Among the recommendations are defining low-carbon intensity standards, growing the domestic supply and demand, and regularly re-evaluating the industry’s contribution to emissions reductions.
Also from the Senate, the Climate-Aligned Finance Act moved forward to be reviewed by the Senate Banking Committee. The proposed legislation would require federally-regulated financial institutions to align their investments with Canada’s climate commitments.
Canada’s Clean Energy Fund has seen limited uptake from Indigenous organizations, driven by rigid requirements and missing capacity to develop partnerships between Indigenous groups and non-Indigenous energy companies.
Welcome to Energy Transition Valley. Quebec is bringing together the cities of Trois-Rivières, Bécancour and Shawinigan to create the new innovation zone focused on batteries, electrified transport and green hydrogen. The area has secured some significant investment lately including a new cathode production factory from GM and Bécancour’s Nemaska Lithium supplying Ford Motors with lithium hydroxide. The title comes with $7M from the Quebec government to establish the region and fund R&D efforts.
A group of Quebec financial firms are raising a $1B ESG fund, with $300M committed so far. The fund aims to accelerate Quebec’s role in ESG and sustainable finance.
Metals producer Rio Tinto will expand production of low-carbon aluminum in Quebec and is working on wider deployment of its ELYSIS zero carbon smelting technology. The $1.1B investment from Rio Tinto includes $150M in support from the Quebec government.
B.C. First Nations are in court to argue the mineral rights process sidesteps the duty to consult. The province allows mineral rights to be acquired and exploration to begin without any consultation or notice to the First Nations if the claim is in their territory. The case will be the first legal test of B.C.’s UNDRIP legislation.
The BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative received $3.9M from the federal government to help Indigenous communities develop clean energy projects.
Ontario launched an initiative to identify and plug abandoned oil & gas wells backed by $23.6M in funding. The effort comes after an explosion in the province in 2021 that injured 20.
Ontario's energy system operator will make $342M available for energy efficiency retrofits for businesses, greenhouses, smart thermostat users and others.
Greek energy company Mytilineos is building Canada’s largest solar farm in Alberta.
Irving Shipbuilding will invest over $500K in the Green Harbour project to make Halifax Harbour a net-zero emitter by 2050.
📣 What’s going on
🗓️ Launching Mission from MaRS: Carbon Management: Join the launch event for MaRS’ Carbon Management Mission to help commercialize carbon-negative innovations and expand the Canadian market. June 15th, online.
💡 Call for Innovation - Measurement, Monitoring and Verification: The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy is seeking solutions focused on measuring, monitoring and verification (MMV) for carbon management. June 27th, online.
Featured postings from some of Canada’s most innovative companies:
💧 Director of Marketing and Communications at HTEC - Vancouver, BC
🔌 Senior UX Researcher at FLO - Montreal, QC
☁️ Business Analyst at Arca - Vancouver, BC
⚡️ Senior Manager, Data Analytics at Ontario Power Generation - Pickering, ON
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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