Embarking on eco-conscious projects isn’t just an investment in a more sustainable future — it’s an investment in your company’s future. With the Government of Canada taking aggressive action toward combating climate change, including reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs across the country to contribute.
Whether you’re a start-up or an established firm, the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program and other government-backed incentives can support your research and development efforts. When it’s time to take your project to the next level, funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) can help pave the way forward. This organization accelerates promising cleantech projects designed to help Canadians thrive.
Supporting Clean Tech Firms from Seed to Scale-Up
SDTC recognizes the impact clean technology will have on the future. Since 2001, the independent federal foundation has invested over $1.28 billion in 450 companies across the country. These investments have contributed to thousands of jobs for Canadians and helped companies bring their biggest and brightest ideas to fruition. There are two avenues for SDTC funding:
Seed Fund supports Canadian entrepreneurs with sustainable solutions in the early stages of development. This program provides a one-time grant of up to $100,000 to innovative, early-stage, companies undertaking technological projects that have environmental benefits.
Clean Tech Fund
A scale-up opportunity, SDTC’s Clean Tech Fund helps businesses with innovative technologies that have strong market potential and proven environmental impacts. This program provides a non-repayable contribution for projects that meet the eligibility criteria.
SDTC is a vast program that not only provides many Canadian companies with much-needed capital but ensures we’re working towards a greener future. From lowering GHG emissions to developing cleaner industrial processes, this capital has led to several positive environmental results.
Elevating Environmentally Impactful Ideas
SDTC funding supports small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in all sectors, encouraging eco-conscious growth across the board. Application rounds open every few months, providing plenty of opportunities for submission. To be eligible, you must have a Canadian-owned company and an idea that addresses a significant environmental problem. Additional criteria will also apply.
To be eligible for Seed Fund, companies must:
- Be nominated by one of SDTC’s partner accelerators
- Have a team with the skills necessary to take their idea to the next level
- Have an idea that’s beyond the R&D stage and ready for the commercialization
- Describe how their idea will demonstrate quantifiable environmental benefits
- Raise double the amount of requested funding through private equity sources
To be eligible for Clean Tech Fund, companies must:
- Have a strong end-user value proposition
- The potential to attract a partner to validate the market need
- Demonstrated Canadian environmental and economic benefits
Receiving SDTC Funding
The grant you receive could be substantial depending on the program you apply for and the scope of your project. Seed Fund grants between $50,000 and $100,000 to qualified start-ups, while Clean Tech Fund averages contributions of about $3 million that are distributed incrementally within 5-years. While the funds are non-repayable, they do come with a few stipulations:
- SDTC funds an average of 33% (up to 40%) of eligible project costs.
- Private-sector contributions must make up at least 25% of eligible costs.
- A minimum of 50% of the costs must be incurred in Canada.
Applicants for both funding avenues are diligently vetted during the process. From application to funding could take anywhere from eight weeks to five months for successful candidates. Once funded, you may be obligated to report on progress and deliverables as applicable to your Contribution Agreement.
Since funding needs to be sourced from multiple areas — not just potential SDTC capital — it’s wise to research possibilities ahead of time. Being fully prepared from the beginning can boost your chances for success.
Receive Financial Support Quickly from Easly
If you have a cleantech project on the verge of commercialization, we can help. At Easly, we partner with companies of all sizes and types to provide predictable, non-dilutive capital that fosters growth and innovation. Our Capital-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform is designed to simplify the financing process for innovators across industries.
Working with Easly means you bypass the wait for your SDTC grant, SR&ED tax refund, and other funding opportunities.