The Province of Ontario Tuesday launched a $25.8-million Low Carbon Innovation Fund to help companies working in the clean-tech sector bring new products to market and foster research and new technologies.

“We know that climate change is real,” said MPP for Kitchener Centre, Daiene Vernile, who made the announcement on behalf of the province at Communitech.

“[Climate change] is a global problem and a challenge that we all need to face head-on.”

The money will be divided into two streams, $10.8 million for technology demonstration, and the remainder for technology validation and proof-of-concept. Applications for the former are due by Sept. 22 and applications for the latter will open later in the fall.

Each successful applicant in the demonstration stream will be eligible for as much as $2 million.

The announcement was music to the ears of Daniela Roeper, co-founder of Waterloo Region clean-tech startup Borealis Wind, which makes a heating system capable of de-icing wind turbine blades, allowing the turbines to achieve greater efficiency.

“We’re absolutely applying,” said Roeper, who attended the announcement.

“It’s perfect timing, actually. We’re going into an important winter of pilot-testing at wind farms in North America.

“To have the opportunity to get funding like this over the winter will [help us] develop new technical advancements for our product and will [help us] work with wind farms on how we can expand within their fleet.”

The initiative is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province’s carbon market. The money will support emerging technologies in areas such as alternative energy generation and conservation, new biofuels, transportation and carbon capture. Successful applicants need to show “significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.”

Vernile, who is the Parliamentary Assistant to Reza Moridi, the province’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, said that the province is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.

“We know this is a very ambitious target; however, we’re confident that we can do this,” Vernile said.

“[The program] is going to help Ontario meet its greenhouse gas targets by supporting game-changing low-carbon tech while at the same time creating jobs.”

About The Author

Craig Daniels
Senior Journalist

Craig Daniels is a veteran reporter, columnist and editor who has joined Communitech’s editorial team as senior journalist. He worked most recently at Postmedia in Hamilton, where he led the team that produced the National Post, and before that at the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Sun, Financial Post, the Montreal Daily News and the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, N.B. He has an abiding interest in the transformational power and promise of tech and startup ecosystems, is a commercially licensed pilot, and has a debilitating wrist-watch fetish.