Archived — 3.1 Sustainability-Driven Technologies and Commercialization

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Sustainable development strategic outcome: Increased development, commercialization, adoption and diffusion of environmental, energy and bio-based technologies

Canada's economic performance is a key determinant in ensuring a sustainable future for Canadians. Technologies will help Canada address its long-standing productivity and business R&D investment challenges. They will also help deal with key environmental issues such as climate change, air and water pollution, waste, and contaminated sites.

Sustainable development can be advanced through the integration of innovative technologies and strategic organizational changes. The development of innovative technologies requires investment in fundamental research, development and commercialization. Strategic organizational change refers to new business strategies and process-efficiency tools that can help lessen the private sector's ecological footprint through waste reduction and the more efficient use of materials, energy and labour. New approaches in marketing, communications and management processes are key contributors to firms' performance.

Canada needs a strong knowledge infrastructure to generate and apply scientific and technical knowledge to a range of areas, such as hydrogen-powered fuel cell technologies, renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar, wind and ocean), and bio-based technology and process applications. Investing in the market development and commercialization of these technologies will also be critical in creating highly skilled jobs, and reducing GHG emissions and other air- and land-based pollutants.

image of solar panelOver the next three years, Industry Canada will continue to work with its partners to strengthen Canada's knowledge infrastructure to improve its R&D performance and promote technology and commercialization in critical, sustainability-enhancing enabling technologies. Nine action plan items are intended to achieve this strategic outcome. Details on each are provided below.

Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) Program

Hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies continue to gain ground as viable alternatives to the internal combustion engine. Canada is a leader in the early development and commercialization of fuel cell technology in backup power modules, micro fuel cells for hand-held applications, and the automotive and utility vehicle market. The h2EA program fosters the development and early adoption of hydrogen, hydrogen-compatible technologies and bridging technology (integrating hydrogen fuel cells with established technologies such as the internal combustion engine) in the marketplace. The program supports demonstration projects, which enable clients to test and showcase their existing technologies in working integrated models to demonstrate new concepts such as "hydrogen highways" and "hydrogen villages."

Through March 2008, Industry Canada's h2EA program will help accelerate the development and adoption of hydrogen technologies in order to create highly skilled jobs, generate new growth and investment opportunities, and reduce air pollution and GHG emissions.

Action Plan Item
Supports Federal Sustainable Development Environmental Quality Goal: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Industry Canada, through its h2EA program, invests in new hydrogen technology demonstration projects that will bring Canada into the hydrogen economy.

Responsibility: Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC)

Expected Three-Year Results

  • Accelerated public and market awareness
  • Hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies accepted and adopted
  • Establishment of consortia and networks
  • Advancement of codes and standards for hydrogen technology and infrastructure
  • Leveraged private sector R&D investment

Performance Indicators

  • Level of awareness of program
  • Number of hydrogen services and products launched
  • Number of participants involved in demonstration projects
  • Evidence of Canadian standards that become adopted nationally and internationally

Hydrogen Economy

Supporting Industrial Development

Industry Canada has supported a number of research and development and large-scale demonstration projects for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies under Technology Partnerships Canadas (TPC's) R&D program and the Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) program, respectively. During SDS III, TPC invested approximately $35 million in support of the development of important niche applications that continue to build on Canada's technology leadership position. These are critical to the development of the technology advancements necessary for future applications. Funding also supported two of Canada's large-scale demonstration initiatives: British Columbia's Hydrogen Highway and Toronto's Hydrogen Village. These projects showcase market demonstrations in real-world settings and stimulate the creation of supporting infrastructure, codes and standards, and awareness-raising activities.

Towards a National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Strategy

Industry Canada, as co-chair of the federal Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Committee, has continued to work on the basis of the proposals outlined in Towards a National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Strategy: A Discussion Document for Canada. Created in 2005, the document provides an initial examination of strategic opportunities for Canadian industry in global and domestic markets, and proposes possible actions and institutional arrangements that could enable Canada to capitalize on current and future market opportunities. This publication was used to engage hydrogen and fuel cell partners in industry, academia, and federal and provincial governments. It was an important tool in developing a Canadian vision, national targets and objectives for the Strategy.

Hydrogen Economy Portal
Hydrogen Early Adopters program

Program for Strategic Industrial Projects Reporting (PSIP)

Industry Canada's Program for Strategic Industrial Projects (PSIP), delivered through TPC, was established to provide a framework within which a variety of large strategic investment projects by firms in the automotive sector could be administered. It advances and supports industrial research, pre-competitive development, and technology adaptation and adoption projects designed to encourage private sector investments.

Typically, individual projects under the PSIP are funded by the government, in whole or in part from the fiscal framework. PSIP takes an investment approach and shares with its private sector partners in the risks and rewards. The program has nominal financial returns and economic benefits.

PSIP requires projects to contribute to the economic pillar of sustainable development, and encourages contributions to the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

Action Plan Item

Industry Canada, through PSIP, enhances reporting of sustainable development benefits by including applicants' contributions to the economic pillar of sustainable development in its program eligibility criteria and reporting obligations. It also encourages and reports any contributions to the environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Responsibility: Technology Partnerships Canada

Expected Three-Year Result

  • Enhanced sustainable development benefits identification and reporting

Performance Indicators

  • Percentage of reported increase in energy efficiency and pollution prevention and reduction, and benefits from developed sustainable alternatives
  • Dollar value of TPC contributions, amount leveraged, and level of payment on contribution agreement (Benefits Phase)
  • Number and types of new or improved technologies developed, and incidence of diffusion or adoption of technology within companies

Industrial Development in Canada's Renewable Energy Sector

Considerable growth is projected for Canada's renewable energy sector, which presents opportunities for industrial development through technology commercialization, value chain management in the manufacturing sector and job creation. Expanding global markets are expected to generate further opportunity for Canadian companies and technology developers. By researching and promoting Canada's niche technological and manufacturing strengths, Canada will be better positioned to identify appropriate policy tools and approaches to create a domestic renewable energy industry in Canada. Investment and partnership activities will offer tangible benefits to Canadian companies interested in expanding their business nationally and internationally. By participating in demonstration projects, Industry Canada will be able to promote Canadian technologies, and identify and facilitate appropriate partnerships between the research and business communities. An industrial development strategy for renewable energy will help Canada capitalize on the economic development opportunities presented by this rapidly expanding sector, and ensure the long-term competitiveness of Canada's renewable energy industry.

Industry Canada will work to identify and promote opportunities for renewable energy industrial development. Research will be carried out to identify Canadian technological strengths, manufacturing capabilities, economic impacts and trends, and industrial development issues and opportunities. To promote renewable energy technology commercialization, the Department will engage in partnership demonstration projects in emerging renewables. Business partnership activities will be delivered to encourage domestic and international collaboration toward a stronger renewable energy sector in Canada. The Department's efforts will culminate in an industrial development strategy, which will address issues such as technology-to-markets programming, international partnership promotion and capacity building. The Strategy will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the renewable energy sector by investing in research and prototype testing, promoting domestic and international business partnerships along the value chain, and facilitating capacity building through training, education and certification programs.

Action Plan Item
Supports Federal Sustainable Development Environmental Quality Goal: Clean Air for People to Breathe and Ecosystems to Function Well

Industry Canada will identify and promote opportunities for industrial development for renewable energy by:

  • enhancing databases and directories of the renewable energy industry and the supply chain
  • conducting economic research, including forecasts for renewable energy sectors and subsectors
  • facilitating partnerships for the renewable energy sector, including demonstration partnerships
  • showcasing renewable energy capabilities in international forums
  • developing with stakeholders an industrial strategy for renewable energy

Responsibility: Resource Processing Industries Branch

Expected Three-Year Results

  • Expanded public and private sector knowledge of business and technology capabilities, economic development trends and opportunities
  • Enhanced business development, demonstrations and expanded manufacturing capacity through new partnerships
  • Broadened economic development in the renewable energy sector in Canada and in Canadian firms that have an established presence in international markets

Performance Indicators

  • Number of assessments on the economic benefits of renewable energy industries
  • Number of economic research projects and forecasts on the renewable energy sector
  • Number of new partnerships established that lead to business development and demonstrations
  • Number of international projects by participating renewable energy firms
  • Number of manufacturing facilities established in the renewable energy sector
  • Number of renewable energy technologies commercialized