Dr. Carol-Ann Brown
Vice President of Cleantech and Innovation, The Delphi Group and GLOBE Series
Cleantech may be our best bet for achieving Canada’s environmental and prosperity goals. These solutions help industry become more efficient, diversify our economy and help us capitalize on growing global demand. Global trade in cleantech, as measured by experts, doubled to more than CAD $1.15 trillion from 2008 to 2015. The industry is expected to grow to $2.5 trillion globally by 2022.
Canada already punches above its weight on the global cleantech stage. In 2014, Canada was ranked seventh globally in terms of countries where cleantech companies are most likely to emerge, according to the Global Cleantech Innovation Index. Three years later, we jumped to fourth due to funding availability and early entrepreneurship support. Although these rankings paint a promising picture of an ecosystem that supports rising cleantech firms, there are a number of barriers to scaling cleantech companies in Canada.
One of the most pressing challenges is the gap in financing for companies that are moving from the start-up to the commercialization stage. Canadian cleantech companies tend to experience slower growth and raise less capital than their U.S. or global counterparts. All levels of government have contributed to filling earlier stage funding gaps for research and development. We now need to launch Canadian cleantech companies into new and bigger markets.
In 2014, Canada was ranked seventh globally in terms of countries where cleantech companies are most likely to emerge, according to the Global Cleantech Innovation Index.
At GLOBE Capital 2019, we kicked off the Scaling Cleantech in Canada initiative with a workshop that involved individuals from government, venture capital firms, banks, and cleantech accelerators. The result of that session was a report that details the state of cleantech financing in Canada, Flowing Investment to Scale Clean Technology. The report identifies a number of potential solutions for scaling cleantech, including:
- Increasing awareness of existing mechanisms that are available to cleantech companies.
- Creating new financial vehicles and mechanisms.
- Building capacity and expertise in cleantech companies so they are able to successfully raise a new round of funding.
At GLOBE 2020, which takes place in Vancouver from February 10-13, cleantech investors, buyers and innovators will come together to make deals, find solutions, and showcase Canada’s cleantech to the world. The Scaling Cleantech in Canada discussion will continue during GLOBE Forum, cutting-edge solutions will be featured in the Innovation Showcase, and GLOBE Exchange will provide unique opportunities for capacity building and business-to-business transactions.
Dr. Carol-Ann Brown is the Vice President of Cleantech and Innovation at The Delphi Group and GLOBE Series. A member of Canada’s Clean50 and Clean16 for 2020, she is one of the country’s leading cleantech experts and connects innovators and industry to develop, deploy and advance cleantech solutions.