TORONTO—It’s a new day for Canada’s cleantech industry, which is on the verge of taking a significant leap forward.
The March 1 launch of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Smart Prosperity group to identify priorities and opportunities to advance our clean technology economy—which coincided with Globe 2016 in Vancouver, the cleantech sector’s largest conference—has sent a strong signal that there will be functional and systemic support for businesses looking to compete in the global clean technology industry.
But competition is the key word here. Canada is far from alone in its desire to grow in this market segment, and the pending implementation of several comprehensive international trade agreements means that companies in this country must make smart, timely decisions to succeed globally.
With this in mind, CanadianManufacturing.com and its sister site Cleantech Canada has published a study that outlines some of the keys to growing a cleantech company in Canada.
Conducted in partnership with Edmonton-based Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp., the 2016 Cleantech Directions report looks at the economic impact of the sector, as well as sources for funding and grants; top target markets; how to leverage shifts in policy; and how to obtain buy-in from even the stingiest corporate executive.
The time is now for Cleantech, and doing it right requires information. Find that data in Cleantech Directions by downloading the PDF. Check out previews of some of the stories in the report, written by David Kennedy.
Canada’s cleantech industry is on the verge of taking a significant leap forward, says a group of industry leaders, insiders and entrepreneurs who gathered in a Toronto boardroom one day after the swearing-in of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the fast-growing sector’s performance and its outlook for the coming years.
With increased money on the way—the Liberal government pledged $200 million a year in new cleantech spending and inbound regulatory changes look poised to add new revenue streams—cleantech is poised to put some of its past fiscal woes in the rearview. As the sector starts to take flight, our group of experts think budding cleantech businesses will help shore up Canada’s sputtering economy.
As cleantech entrepreneurs with big ideas look to enter the market, staying focused on what their product can do for a company’s bottom line—and investor returns—is paramount. “If you don’t have that problem-solution fit, you’re not going to be a successful company,” said Jennifer Stoneburgh, a senior associate for cleantech at MaRS Discovery District. Indeed, when it comes to investors, it’s the market that matters, not environmental ideals.
Successful clean technology products still must demonstrate how they can save a company money, instead of focusing on sustainability credentials.
Stage of development: 64 per cent of cleantech companies surveyed are generating revenue; 20 per cent are in pilot/demonstration; 16 per cent are in the test or research phase.
Confidence: 79 per cent are confident their business will reach the next stage within two years.
Location: 72 per cent feel Canada is a good environment to grow a cleantech business.
Pitch: Only 30 per cent said their investor pitch is “very effective,” 35 per cent said it “needs work.”
Barriers: Lack of financing was cited as the top challenge (37 per cent), followed by unsupportive government policy (36 per cent); lack of industry incentives (29 per cent); regulatory/zoning issues (19 per cent); low demand (15 per cent); lack of expertise (14 per cent); low market intelligence (12 per cent); scaling the technology (10 per cent), among other barriers.