CTC #60 - Cultivating the future of plant-based seafood
Plus - Geomega to pilot rare earth recycling tech, a preview for COP 28, and Indigenous communities get backing for project
Welcome to another issue of Climate Tech Canada! The MaRS Climate Impact conference kicks off today, bringing together leaders in climate tech and finance for two days of discussions in Toronto. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but we’ll have a special guest post soon with insights from the event!
This week in climate tech:
Three startups building the future of plant-based seafoods
Geomega Resources snags funding for rare earth recycling pilot plant
Gearing up for COP28
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🐟 Spotlight: The future of seafood is plant-based
The headline: Three Canadian companies, New School Foods, Liven Proteins, and NuWave Research, are coming together to develop the future of plant-based seafood. Backed by $4.5M from Protein Industries Canada, one of five federal Global Innovation Clusters, the project is aiming to commercialize a whole-muscle cut of plant-based salmon that transforms from raw to cooked. It would be the first product like it on the market.
The background: Leading the charge is New School Foods. Founded in 2020 by repeat entrepreneur Chris Bryson who sold his last company, white-label ecomm solution Unata, to Instacart in 2018 for $65M. Now, the company is focused on developing whole-cut fish alternatives that look and cook like ordinary seafood.
New School Foods uses a proprietary process that turns biopolymer gels into scaffolding that mimics the texture of meat. They then use a complex freezing process that allows them to align the solutions molecules in a specific configuration. The result: whole cuts that start raw but cook and flake like real fish. The scaffolding technology was developed by food scientist Auke de Vries from Toronto Metropolitan University with funding from New School Foods. de Vries is now lead food materials scientist at the company.
The partnership between New School and Liven Proteins started back in 2021 when the two companies worked on integrating Liven’s animal-free proteins. Liven uses precision fermentation to produce protein ingredients like collagen and gelatin from food industry by-products.
This latest project brings NuWave Research to the table. Their vacuum microwave technology will help accelerate the manufacturing process.
Why it matters: Wild salmon stocks are under stress from overfishing, habitat destruction, and interactions with farmed salmon. Plant-based alternatives can ease the pressure on wild salmon and reduce the need for farmed salmon that can put their own stresses on local ecosystems.
At the same time, interest in plant-based alternatives is growing. 40% of Canadians are trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, and alternative proteins are now a $1B market in Canada alone. Globally, the market is expected to grow 14% annually by 2024.
What’s next: New School & friends will need to nail the taste and feel, but also the price of their plant-based seafood as they reach commercialization. Alternative proteins are a tough market - just look at Beyond Meat’s 46% stock price drop this year due to pressure from inflation and increased competition.
⛏️ Geomega Resources (Boucherville, QC) received $2.04M in project funding from Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) to build a demonstration plant to turn waste magents into valuable rare earth metals.
⛽️ Greenlight Innovation Corporation (Burnaby, BC) received $1.1M from economic development agency PacifiCan for its hydrogen testing technologies. Greenlight develops testing equipment for hydrogen electrolyzers, fuel cells and batteries.
☀️ Recurrent Energy (Guelph, ON) received $136.5M in project funding from alternative investment platform Vinci Partners for a 300MW solar cluster in Brazil. Recurrent is a subsidiary of Canadian Solar and a global developer and owner of solar and energy storage assets.
🧱 CarbonCure signed a multi-year agreement to provide carbon credits to Deloitte Canada. Deloitte will also directly support the deployment of CarbonCure’s tech.
🌱 Halifax-based CoteX Technologies will partner with agriculture giant Nutrien to explore commercializing CoteX's sustainable seed coatings.
📊 Vancouver’s ESG.AI will deliver an ESG platform for the the London Stock Exchange Group to help companies visualize ESG data and improve impact analysis.
💨 Carbon removal developer Deep Sky will partner with Climeworks to develop large-scale direct air capture and storage projects in Canada.
💡Greenshoots’ latest startup cohort including Agapyo (biodegradable ABS plastic) and Lillianah Technologies (algae-based water treatment and carbon capture).
🔋 Electra Battery Minerals will supply Rock Tech Lithium with recycled lithium to be refined and upgraded to battery-grade lithium.
🚤 Montreal’s Taiga Motors will be the exclusive supplier of the UIM E1 World Championship, an all-electric powerboat championship race.
☀️ Clir Renewables launched a new product to help solar and wind operators forecast and optimize offtakes with enhanced hourly energy models.
🗞️ In the news
🤝 Transatlantic BFFs: Climate action was front and centre at the EU-Canada Summit in Newfoundland last week. The meeting produced a comprehensive Green Alliance partnership covering environmental and ocean protection, clean energy, industrial transformation, research and innovation and more. Also announced were Canada’s membership in the $100B Horizon Europe research program, the EU joining the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge launched by PM Trudeau launched during COP26, and a joint Hydrogen Action Plan to further develop a shared market.
🌎 Coming together at COP28: The UN climate conference kicks off later this week in Dubai, UAE. The dominant theme: the future of oil & gas. It’s positive to even see fossil fuels on the agenda (previously an untouchable subject), but expect heated debate around “phase out” vs “phase down” and the role of abatement tech like CCUS.
For Canada’s part, expect a focus on methane, nuclear energy, and climate finance. Canada will announce new methane regulations later this week, aiming to cut emissions by ~40% vs 2005 levels, and will likely push for action on this file. Not to be outshone by a joint pledge from the US and UK to triple nuclear power, Canada will showcase its leadership in nuclear technology and uranium production. And PM Trudeau will continue to work the climate finance file to deliver on the UN’s $100B US financing goal.
💵 CIB backs Indigenous projects: Indigenous communities are getting support from the Canada Infrastructure Bank to acquire equity in clean energy projects. The CIB will provide low-interest, long-term loans to Indigenous communities to purchase equity stakes in CIB-backed projects on their land. This initiative closes a major funding gap for Indigenous partners who have historically been unable to secure sizeable financing from private lenders.
In other news
Alberta rolled out long-awaited tax credits for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), granting up to 12% of capital costs for eligible projects.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith plans to use the province’s Sovereignty Act to challenge federal clean grid regulations.
Nuclear investments will now be included in Green Bonds, opening a new avenue for financing nuclear projects that was previously off-limits.
Ontario will fund nine projects focused on integrating hydrogen into the grid. Most of the funding will explore blending hydrogen with natural gas.
Saskatchewan Research Council will acquire a 5MW microreactor for generation in remote areas and to start building expertise to support future projects.
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners launches a subsidiary dedicated to developing Canadian renewable energy projects.
EV maker Lion Electric cut 10% of its workforce in a drive for profitability. The company lost $19.9M in Q3 on $80.3M revenue and 95% YoY growth.
📣 What’s going on
🗓️ Energia Ventures Demo Day: Showcasing Energia’s fall cohort with companies in sustainable aquaculture and crop optimization. Dec 7th, Fredericton, NB.
🗓️ Climate Solutions in Food: Connect with your Montreal climate crew at this panel discussion, featuring leaders from local companies working at the intersection of climate and food systems. Dec 5th, Montreal.
🗓️ Climate Fresk Climate Change Workshop: Join this hands-on workshop to break down the IPCC reports and translate them into tangible cause and consequence patterns. Nov 30th, Toronto.
Featured postings from some of Canada’s most innovative companies. Check out new postings in Product Operations, Data Science, Finance, and many more!
➡️ Hiring? List your posting here.
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