Today in government funding, three organizations in Quebec received $415,000, a Burlington-based healthtech company received $2.1 million, and a cleantech startup received $2 million to improve the sustainability of Alberta’s oil sands industry.
Quebec startup growth
On Tuesday, three Quebec organizations, Entrepreneuriat Laval, EMO3 Inc., and Neuro Solutions Group, received a collective $415,000 through Canada Economic Development (CED), the regional development agency (RDA) for the Quebec region.
The accelerator program at Université Laval, Entrepreneuriat Laval received the largest portion of the funding with a non-repayable contribution of $315,000. The funding is meant to help the accelerator support 15 startups interested in science, engineering, and clean technology sectors.
EMO3 Inc., a cleantech startup that provides unique air purification and water treatment systems received a repayable contribution of $50,000 to boost its exports and develop its innovation capacity. Neuro Solutions Group, which creates inclusive technologies for people with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD and autism, received a repayable contribution of $50,000 to help with its commercial activities.
Harmonic Medical, a Burlington-based medical company, which has developed focused ultrasound technology for non-invasive surgery received a contribution of more than $2.1 million.
The funding came from Southern Ontario’s RDA, FedDev Ontario, which also handed out $53.3 million in funding to six Toronto-based innovation organizations on Tuesday.
Using focused ultrasound technology, Harmonic Medical has developed a system to treat uterine fibroids without surgery. The federal government stated that “the company’s treatment option for women with uterine fibroids has the potential to yield significant health benefits by minimizing side effects, complications, costs and recovery time for patients.”
The FedDev funding will support the final-stage product development and the commercial launch of Harmonic Medical’s technology in North American and European markets.
ElectroKinetic Solutions, a cleantech startup formed in 2013, received close to $2 million to field test a new dewatering technology that is meant to speed up the process of reclaiming oil sands mine tailing sites.
Tailing sites are created because dewatering and extracting oil sands bitumen (low-grade crude oil) results in large volumes of tailings, which are leftover byproducts that can include water, sand, clay, residual oil, and chemicals used to extract the oil. These tailings are then deposited in large ponds. ElectroKinetic Solutions’ technology is meant to accelerate the dewatering of tailings in order to more quickly return oil sands mine sites to sustainable landscapes.
The funding, provided through Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Growth Program, in collaboration with Alberta Innovates, as well as Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is set to help ElectroKinetic Solutions test and refine its new technology in Alberta. According to Natural Resource Canada, the project offers economic and environmental benefits including reducing demand for freshwater, facilitating site reclamation, reducing GHG emissions, and decreasing the environmental impact on local ecosystems.
“The economic savings from this project will lower mining costs, improving the long-term sustainability of Alberta’s oil sands industry,” the ministry stated.
The Clean Growth Program is a $155 million investment fund created to help emerging cleantech startups scale and prepare for commercialization. The program has previously invested in other mining and land restoration-focused startups including Vancouver-based Jetti Resources, which is looking to develop a more energy-efficient process to extract copper from regular and lower-grade ores, as well as waste mining materials and tailings; and Indigenous cleantech company Carbonix, which aims to to accelerate water and land restoration.