PLANT

Clean tech key to prairies development


September 24, 2010
by PLANT STAFF

REGINA: Clean tech will be key to the economies of Canada’s prairie provinces, according to a new report.

The 2010 SDTC Cleantech Growth and Go-To-Market Report, Prairie Edition shows a compound growth rate of 47% in Canada (high growth and more established sectors) between 2007 and 2009.

Currently, 106 clean technology companies are in the process of commercializing new products across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Sixty-four per cent of the companies produce technology products, 32% are technology-enabled service companies, and 4% are large-scale or distributed processing companies.

And nearly 75% of the companies created as a result of a concept developed by an entrepreneur. Only 9% were created as a result of technology developed through academic institutions.

The report also examines factors impacting investment in commercialization.

“The Canadian clean tech industry has plenty of potential to build globally-competitive companies,” said Céline Bak, partner with the Russell Mitchell Group, authors of the report. “But, being global technology leaders is that much harder when early adopter markets are far from home.”

She said a thriving Canadian clean tech industry depends on more than just technological innovation; strong domestic markets must be built while at the same time, investing in world-class commercialization.

Based on the survey and research findings, the report proposes a plan that will lead to 20 Canadian clean tech companies achieving $100 million in annual revenues by the year 2020. It involves the following:

• Investing in best practices and benchmarks for investment in commercialization as a driver of revenue growth.

• Ensuring emerging clean tech companies are able to access investment capital.

• Taxation changes that encourage investment in Canada’s clean tech industry.

• Policies to stimulate green procurement by large organizations and governments.

• Deployment of financing vehicles, such as flow-through shares and debt products for technology-based companies, to address the gap between supply and demand for growth capital.

• Regulation of greenhouse gases, which is one of the most important drivers for clean technology adoption worldwide.

While the report found that clean tech industries continue to require assistance in accessing capital, it also found investment required by companies in this industry is less than might be anticipated—96% of the companies surveyed were found to have capital requirements of between $1 million and $30 million.

Click here for a copy of the report.
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