Federal government invests $58 million into two of seven new cleantech hubs


Two of seven climate change hubs have received investments from the federal government as part of a national initiative intended to help Canadian cleantech businesses bridge the commercialization gap.

“FCM will help stimulate and share carbon-reduction solutions and best practices with cities and communities across the country.”

The federal government announced $40 million in funding for The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), towards the creation of a hub in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. An additional $18 million was granted to EfficiencyOne, a Halifax-based cleantech innovation centre.

The investments are part of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), which aims to help city regions demonstrate, de-risk, and scale local solutions to climate change to meet Canada’s 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets.

“Climate change affects every municipality in Canada, large or small, and all of them want to be part of the solution as direct partners,” said Vicki-May Hamm, president of FCM, when Budget 2019 was first announced in March. “Powered by the federal government’s investment in Low Carbon Cities Canada, FCM will help stimulate and share carbon-reduction solutions and best practices with cities and communities across the country.”

The LC3 initiative is a partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), an advocacy group representing over 2,000 Canadian communities. The hubs will be located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax, in addition to a national office.

The centres will provide a variety of services to Canadian cleantech business, including seed funding, identifying key greenhouse gas sources in cities, impact investing, and internally-led initiatives to identify opportunities, begin research, and showcase new technology to various industry partners. The organization plans to generate sufficient returns to fund its operations, and its working capital will be supplied by federal investments and matching partners to fuel investments, operations, and its national office.

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Valley of Death Cleantech
How LC3 plans to bridge the “Valley of Death” (Image courtesy: LC3)

The LC3 initiative was first announced in Budget 2019, as part of a $183 million investment. The project will use federal investments to work with municipalities, private investors, public agencies, utilities, non-profits and other levels of government to build low-carbon technology solutions. TAF’s model of helping commercialize cleantech innovations will be replicated in the six other city regions to help bridge the “valley of death” for companies looking to bring their low-carbon technology to market.

“The LC3 centre in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is a great example of what we can accomplish when working together,” said Adam Vaughan, MP for Spadina-Fort York. “The Government of Canada is proud to be working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and The Atmospheric Fund to build tomorrow’s thriving, livable cities and communities that are also inclusive and sustainable.”

The individual hubs are:

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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