One of the biggest crises the world is facing is sustainability and environmental protections. Sustainable Development Technology Canada recognizes that the only way to address that and find ways to overcome the problems is to invest in Canadian businesses that can develop new, clean technologies designed to carry us and meet our energy needs sustainably into the future.

Do you have a cleantech solution for clean air, clean water, or clean soil? Do you have a solution that can address climate change in some way? Then take a look at the SD Tech Fund and see if you can use it to set your business up as a world leader in cleantech and save the environment at the same time.

Your business could find funding with Sustainable Development Technology Canada in its pre-commercialization phase if you can show that your technology has enormous potential to demonstrate appreciable and measurable environmental and economic benefits in the areas of climate change, clean air, clean water, and clean soil.


Your technology or project will also have to be beyond the proof-of-concept stage and include some additional development of the technology, alleviate any existing technology risk, and include proof of the economic viability of the technology.


Some examples of projects and technology they’ll fund include anything that can illustrate the potential for GHG emissions reductions, water consumption reductions, and/or water, soil, or air contamination reductions.

You’re already on your way to being eligible for this funding if your project or technology fits the examples above and you’re a small or medium-sized Canadian business.


But of course, those aren’t the only criteria. You’ll also have to have a well-defined project and a strong end-user value proposition. Then make sure you can validate the market and commercialization potential of the technology.


That’s not all. There’s one last criterion. You must form a consortium that includes at least one other partner. The program recommends that you look for partners who are either end users or can prove the need and market for the technology.


The SD Tech Fund won’t accept research and development projects or those projects already in the commercialization stage. Nor will they accept projects that show economic benefits without environmental benefits, one-off projects to reduce emissions at a specific site, or incremental modifications to existing technologies or processes.


As you’re putting your application and proposal together, keep in mind the criteria the fund uses to evaluate the possible acceptance of your technology. Ask yourself if it has environmental benefits and determine the strength of the technological innovation. Which readiness level is it at and what is your management capability to advance and commercialize it? What kind of interest do you have from investors? And finally, what does your business plan and path to market look like?


Now that you’ve made it through all the criteria, be aware that you’ll be expected to financially contribute as well. On the upside, you’re not only allowed to have additional funding, you’re expected to have some, up to 75% in the case of government funding and no less than 25% private-sector funding.

After you’ve been deemed eligible and approved for funding, Sustainable Development Technology Canada will fund, on average, 30% of your project costs, though that percentage can go as high as 40%.


Though 50% of your project costs must occur in Canada, they generally invest approximately $5 million over 5 years or less in their chosen projects. Keep in mind this is grant funding, so you don’t have to ever pay it back. Unless of course you default on your contract, in which case you may even have to hand over a portion of your intellectual property, so don’t default!

You can apply for funding any time you’re ready throughout the year because they take applications on a regular basis. Start by sending them an email to schedule an introductory call.


After that, applications for funding go through a 3-phase process. The first step is to download the application template and fill it out. Once it’s complete, submit it via their online portal. To help you out, they even have examples you take a look at to ensure your application is as complete and as strong as it can be.


Once they’ve received your application, their team of experts will review it, and if they like what they see, you may be invited to present your project via videoconferencing.

Even if you’re not invited to present, you may still successfully complete phase one and move to phase two. If that’s the case, they’ll ask you to create and submit a formal proposal and submit it online.


After this, it’s all out of your hands. If the team of experts likes your proposal, they’ll send it to the board for approval, at which point they’ll assign you a project manager and prepare a Contribution Agreement.


The Contribution Agreement will contain milestones that you must reach to receive the funding that matches that milestone, minus a 10% holdback. Once you’ve reached each milestone, you’ll submit a report, and then you’ll get more funding. Once the project is complete and you’ve submitted and they’ve accepted your final report, you’ll get the remaining 10% they held back.

Wrapping Up

Join the likes of Acceleware, Agar Canada, 3E Nano, BioLiNE, and more and achieve phenomenal success environmentally and economically with funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada for your innovative cleantech project.


The application process is straightforward, and they promise to stay in contact with you throughout. They’re available to answer any of your questions via email, and their FAQs tackle most of the questions you’re bound to have. You can also call 613-234-6313 if you prefer.


It is possible to make the world a cleaner, better place, and you’ve got the technology to do that with, so apply for nonrepayable funding to bring it to life. Your business can become a world leader in cleantech with the support of Sustainable Development Technology Canada.


About the author 

Maurice

Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.

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