Economic Strategy - Clean Technology Table

Driving transformative innovation and clean growth across all business sectors of the economy through increased development, commercialization and adoption of clean technology solutions.

Chair

Audrey Mascarenhas, Questor Technology Inc.

Members

  • Mike Andrade, Morgan Solar Inc.
  • Marvin DeVries, Trojan Technologies Inc.
  • Malini Giridhar, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
  • Jodi Glover, Real Tech Inc.
  • Karen Hamberg, Westport Innovations Inc.
  • Judi Hess, CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
  • David Isaac, W Dusk Energy Group Inc.
  • Andrée-Lise Méthot, Cycle Capital Management
  • Christofer Mowry, General Fusion Inc.
  • Robert Niven, CarbonCure Technologies Inc.
  • Tom Rand, ArcTern Ventures
  • Pierre Rivard, TUGLIQ Energy Co.
  • Annette Verschuren, NRStor Inc.
  • Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics Corporation

Federal representatives

  • John Knubley, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Philip Jennings, Natural Resources Canada

Meetings

December 7, 2017 Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Focus

On December 7, 2017, the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table held its first meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. Members gathered to discuss their vision and set a forward workplan to grow Canadian clean technology capabilities.

What we talked about

  1. Members spoke to why they agreed to join the Table, some highlighting the economic and social opportunities clean technology present for the Canadian economy, while others noted their priorities for clean technology targets, actions and government leadership.
  2. Members shared their passion and desire to see Canada become a leader in clean technology development and adoption.
    • “Climate change and sustainability are the defining issue of our time. We need to be big; we need to be bold.”
    • “If you base the economy on resilient technologies, it will make the economy more resilient.”
  3. Federal presentations set the context on clean technology initiatives stemming from Budget 2017 and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
  4. There was an engaged discussion regarding possible elements of the vision statement for clean technology, which will be further refined during future meetings.
    • “I would like to see our vision statement speak to reducing our carbon footprint at home and abroad.”
    • “I view this as the transition to the economy we want. How do we get the balance of speaking as individuals, as citizens, and what role can clean technology play in getting us to where we need to be—and how do we get there through a better way".
  5. The participants noted the need for concrete and targeted clean technology actions in four key areas to unlock bottlenecks in the growth of the sector, including:
    1. Innovation and growing firms to scale;
    2. Market development and trade;
    3. Regulation to drive innovation; and
    4. Jobs and skills.

What we'll do next

  • Thematic champions were identified and will move the discussion forward.
  • All members will seek opportunities to engage with their communities and gather input to the Table's discussions.
  • The next meeting will take place in January 2018.

Clean technology is a global issue. Canada has diversity and we can use our openness to come together and create solutions. This is our brand.

Clean Technology Table Member, December 7, 2017
January 25, 2018 Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Focus

On January 25, 2018, the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table met in Vancouver, British Columbia. Members gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities for innovation and growing Canadian clean technology firms to scale.

What we talked about

  1. The introductory remarks took stock of the work completed to date including a summary of the All-Chairs meeting in December and a debrief of the stakeholder engagement session held in Toronto on January 17, 2018, which explored the theme of Innovation and Growing Firms to Scale.
    • “This is a big bold economic play...we can't solve this problem unless we build billion dollar companies. We can't shy away from taking our share of the global market, because we need to build this new economy world. It's about human survival."
  2. Members furthered the discussion on their aspirational vision and growth targets for the sector. They emphasized the importance of clean technology to achieve competitive and decarbonized economic growth in Canada. Members shared their desire and passion to build a clean technology economy that acts on the convergence of innovation, economic, social and environmental imperatives. The Table will continue to work collaboratively on the vision and targets.
    • "...Clean technology is emerging at an explosive rate: unprecedented global demand, acceleration of technologies, how do we position Canada as a global leader?"
  3. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) presented an overview of recently announced federal funding support to Canadian clean technology firms.
  4. Ilse Treurnicht, a member of the Government's Advisory Council on Economic Growth, shared highlights and perspectives from her tenure as CEO of MaRS on successfully growing clean technology firms in Canada. Ms. Treurnicht emphasized that with recent investments made by the federal government in clean technology, there has never been a greater opportunity for the growth of a sector, and that timing is crucial to capitalize and position Canada as a global leader.
    • "We have not yet built the capacity to deploy capital at the scale needed fast enough, because our traditional investors have not moved into the market yet...How do we get our most promising companies over the line in the short term and also ensure long term sustainable growth?"
  5. Members identified and discussed barriers facing the scale-up of Canadian clean technology firms. They built on the work done during the Toronto engagement session to refine key policy ideas and proposals for action. These proposals and insights will continue to be explored and refined, at future meetings.

What we'll do next

  • The next meeting will take place in Toronto in March 2018.
  • Prior to the next meeting, a stakeholder engagement session will be held in Halifax to identify actionable proposals that address Canada's need to create an effective clean technology work force, with competitive skillsets to support inclusive and sustainable growth.

...If you step back, there has never been a bigger opportunity, in my lifetime, for any sector, for growth.

Clean Technology Table Member, January 25, 2018
March 1, 2018 Location: Toronto, Ontario

Focus

On March 1, 2018, the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table held its third meeting in Toronto, Ontario. The discussions focused on refining the Table's vision for Canadian clean technology and building an effective and skilled clean technology workforce that is both inclusive and diverse.

What we talked about

  1. The meeting started with a discussion on the forward strategy for the Economic Strategy Tables process and the desired outcomes for the Table's recommendations. Senior federal representatives provided highlights of Budget 2018 as well as updates on other key federal initiatives.
  2. A draft vision statement and potential growth targets were presented and discussed. Members agreed that an aspirational vision for the clean technology sector should be short, bold and positive. The Table broadly supported language around growing clean technology as a “top five exporting industry” for Canada. There was also consensus that the vision should lead with an economic or global competitiveness target and include a value statement, likely around environmental outcomes.
  3. Table members revisited an earlier discussion on how to support the innovation and scale-up of Canadian clean technology firms. They underscored the challenges and importance of creating demand in incumbent industries and government procurement. They remain interested in how regulations will drive demand and adoption.
  4. The Table discussed key findings and recommendations stemming from the Jobs and Skills theme stakeholder engagement session held in Halifax on February 12, 2018. Recommendations emphasized the need to ensure Canada fosters an inclusive and diverse workforce and that specific measures should focus on increasing the number of underrepresented groups employed in the sector, particularly women and indigenous Canadians.
  5. Annette Verschuren, a member of the Canada – United-States Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, spoke about the work of the Council. Many of its recommendations for increasing the number of women –owned businesses in Canada were implemented in Budget 2018.

What we'll do next

  • The next meeting will take place in Calgary, Alberta.
  • Prior to the next meeting, two engagement sessions will be held in Vancouver and Montreal. The Vancouver session will explore the Market Development and Trade theme, whereas the Montreal session will explore the Regulations to Drive Innovation theme. The engagement sessions will include Table members and key stakeholders from both industry and government.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. If we can tackle our culture, we'll be a lot further ahead. It's easy to throw money at things; our goal should be to find programs that unlock the potential by changing our culture.

Clean Technology Table Member, March 1, 2018
April 5, 2018 Location: Calgary, Alberta

Focus

On April 5, 2018, the Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table held its fourth meeting in Calgary, Alberta. The discussion centered on refining the Table’s recommendations, as well as its vision and targets for the Canadian clean technology sector.

What we talked about

  1. Senior federal representatives started the meeting with highlights of the All Chairs meeting, which convened the chairs of each Strategy Table. Table members were also briefed on the upcoming discussion at the All-Tables Workshop.
  2. Table members revisited an earlier discussion on supporting market development and trade for Canadian clean technology firms. They highlighted the strategic importance of domestic procurement in growing global exports. Members also agreed that Canada must leverage its brand and technological strengths to strategically grow the sector.
  3. Recommendations and insights emerging from the engagement session on Regulations to Drive Innovation were reexamined. This conversation emphasized the importance of aligning regulations across jurisdictions to bolster clean technology adoption and innovation. The Table remains interested in identifying specific regulations that are impeding growth.
  4. The discussion proceeded to recommendations for supporting innovation and growing firms to scale, specifically the Table’s recommendation focused on providing effective, targeted support (both financial and non-financial) for Canada’s leading clean technology firms and driving domestic demand through procurement.
  5. For job growth and advancing skills, the Table remains focused on looking at ways to build the business, entrepreneurial and market development competencies of clean technology firms.

What we'll do next

  • The Table will continue to refine the proposals and their vision for the Canadian clean technology sector, and identify ambitious and measurable targets.
  • The next meeting will take place in Ottawa, Ontario.

It may be risky to adopt new technology ideas; but let’s not hide that. Let’s spotlight it and champion it and say that it is worth taking that risk to do things better. And then, incent it as much as we can.

Clean Technology Table Member, April 5, 2018
Date modified: