The Short Report - March 30, 2022: Ottawa releases $9.1B emissions reduction plan, Montreal's CDL surpasses $1B in equity value creation, Canada's tech performance blooms in 2021, and more

Cindy Graham
March 30, 2022


The Government of Canada has released its first Emissions Reduction Plan under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The plan is designed to reach Canada's emissions reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and put the country on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The 2030 plan includes $9.1 billion of new investments and actions to help industry develop and adopt clean technology, such as $400 million for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) charging stations, $330 million for the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, and an investment tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology. GOC Reuters

The Government of Canada has launched the Special Response Fund for Trainees (Ukraine) to support research trainees from Ukraine in the form of supplements to existing grants. The fund will provide relief and assistance to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers directly impacted by the invasion of Ukraine and is administered by Canada’s three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. GOC

The federal government is renewing a contribution agreement totalling $4.25 million for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) as part of its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a now $6 billion program to advance women’s economic empowerment. The funding will advance research and expand tools and resources to support diverse women entrepreneurs by tracking progress and informing the work ahead to support business owners in starting up, scaling up and exporting to new markets. GOC

The Canadian Space Agency has issued a tender notice for a study on the socio-economic benefits of the Arctic Observing Mission, a possible Government of Canada Earth observation and follow-on to its Phase 0 study, the Atmospheric Imaging Mission for Northern Regions (AIM-North). The original study was a “constellation of two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) formation to provide observations with an unprecedented combination of frequency, density and quality for monitoring greenhouse gases, air quality and solar induced fluorescence from vegetation over land from about 40-80°N, multiple times per day.” The proposed study would add meteorological and space weather observations to the scope. Space Q


The Creative Destruction Lab, a support and development program for high-potential tech startups at Executive Education HEC Montréal, has surpassed $1 billion in equity value creation since it was created in 2017. CDL-Montréal supports seed-stage, science-based ventures that rely on mentorship and has encouraged transferring experience from the entrepreneurial community to high-potential entrepreneurs in its two specialized streams of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI applied to supply chains. HEC

Burnaby-based biopharmaceutical company Qu Biologics has raised more than $15 million in equity financing, which will be used to support three new Phase 2 clinical trials, expand its team and accelerate its new immunotherapy platform of immunomodulators designed to restore immune function in cancer patients. Qu Biologics

CarbiCrete (Montreal) has secured $15 million in the first close of a Series A round with a second close expected in coming weeks. CarbiCrete uses a carbon-negative process to replace cement in concrete with industrial by-products and cures it with carbon dioxide, allowing it to avoid the greenhouse gas emissions associated with cement production. The round was led by FS Investors (La Jolla, California) and included Arc Energy Fund 9 (Calgary), Something Good Ventures, New Climate Ventures (Houston) and Innovobot (Montreal). CarbiCrete

ONE9 Venture Partners (Ottawa) has launched a specialized venture capital fund focused on national security and critical infrastructure. The fund has an anchor commitment from Kensington Capital Partners (Toronto) of $10 million with a fundraising target of $50 million. The new fund will be led by General Partners Glenn Cowan and Daniel Weinand. Cowan is a retired Squadron Commander in Canada’s Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) and Weinand is co-founder of Shopify. Betakit

Kitchener-Waterloo farm management software startup IntelliCulture has secured $1.7 million in seed financing led by agtech-focused investor Emmertech (Regina). 519 Growth Fund (London) and a group of undisclosed investors also participated. IntelliCulture plans to use the capital to support its customer base and double its eight-person team within the next year. The company uses Internet of Things devices to collect data and provide insights into spray coverage, operational health, and labour management. Betakit


Simon Fraser University's Dr. Teresa Cheung and Dr. John Welsh, a neuroscientist at the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, are the recipients of a nearly $1 million Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant that will allow them to study the brain of autistic children and potentially provide new therapies. The study will expand on ongoing research pioneered by Dr. Welsh that uses eye blinking to establish links between a child’s ability to show associative learning and various neurological conditions, such as autism and motor and intellectual disability. SFU

Dental healthcare network dentalcore (Toronto) has gifted $1 million to McGill University’s Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences to fund research in digital dentistry and provide facilities with advanced equipment and technology. The university will establish a number of research fellowships and awards and create an active learning classroom featuring tools and resources for students to practise clinical skills and techniques. McGill


Tech industry analyzer's annual review shows Canadian startups raised a total of $14 billion  across nearly 700 deals in 2021, a 218 percent increase in investment dollars and a 31 percent increase in deal volume from 2020. Among other review findings: Tech sectors in Canada's major ecosystem regions (Calgary, Toronto, British Columbia, Montréal, and Waterloo) broke their yearly records for venture investment last year; global venture funding in 2021 increased 92 percent but Canadian funding significantly outpaced the growth of the tech sector globally; more US investment firms were involved in Canadian tech rounds: when comparing with 2019 and 2020, Canadian firms involved in deals dropped by approximately 10 percent in 2021 whereas US investors involved in deals increased by about 10 percent. Betakit

Natural resources organizations, including oil and gas and mining, are having difficulty attracting and retaining early-career professionals according to a new report from business advisory organization BDO. Only one in five (21 percent) Canadian students are considering a career in the natural resources industry, with a large majority stating they are not interested in mining (74 percent) or oil & gas (68 percent). “To bridge the talent gap, natural resources organizations will need to not only align more closely with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and sustainability objectives but also develop an achievable roadmap that extends beyond compliance,” according to Stephen Payne, an advisory partner at BDO Canada. BDO

A report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority shows Canada's funders agree that Canada's digital inequity is slowing progress on urgent social issues like climate change and that curbing digital inequity needs to become a priority. Among the report's key findings: over the past decade funders have not prioritized digital development; funders now agree digital equity challenges need to be a priority, though the level of commitment varies; and some funders see opportunities to pool resources into a shared fund or to explore collaborative funding approaches. CIRA


Automaker Stellantis and battery manufacturer LG Energy Solutions are investing over $5 billion in a facility to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in Canada. The facility will be located in Windsor, Ontario, and will supply Stellantis plants in Windsor and across North America. The facility will be operational by 2025. GOC

The governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta have agreed to a joint strategic plan outlining the path forward on small modular reactors (SMRs) and identifying priority areas for development and deployment. They include positioning Canada as an exporter of global SMR technology, promoting a strong nuclear regulatory framework focused on health and safety, obtaining federal government commitments on financial and policy support, creating opportunities for public engagement and participation from Indigenous communities, and working on a robust nuclear waste management plan for SMRs with the federal government and nuclear operators. Government of Saskatchewan

Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory will build another three microsatellites for GHGSat (Montreal). GHGSat currently has three satellites on-orbit and three are scheduled to launch in June on the SpaceX rideshare Transporter-5 mission. The new satellites will be launched in 2023. SpaceQ

The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University and the Department of Marine Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on ocean exploration by applying marine technologies for remote operations and autonomous vehicles. The institutions will share best practices and explore collaborative opportunities in applied R&D in ocean technologies; remote operations; educational exchanges for students, faculty and staff; partnerships with industry; and leveraging financial support to advance their objectives. MUN


Dr. Michael Kobor has been appointed the inaugural chair of a new University of British Columbia research program aimed at helping people live longer, healthier lives. As the new Edwin S.H. Leong Chair in Healthy Aging, Kobor will build a permanent program focused on deepening understanding of the aging process and developing strategies to improve how people age. The program is supported by a $24-million gift from UBC alumnus Edwin Long. UBC

Dr. Martha Crago, vice-principal of research and innovation at McGill University, has been awarded the German Order of Merit for her career-long commitment to promoting research and scientific collaboration between Canada and Germany. Crago has facilitated several research partnerships between Canada and Germany including one between McGill's Douglas Research Centre and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, the first international effort devoted to understanding the relational biology of early-life adversity and psychiatric disorders. As the vice president (research) at Dalhousie University she spearheaded a MOU between the Helmholtz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), formerly known as Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, in Kiel, Germany, and the Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI). Crago was influential in establishing funded partnerships between Canadian and German child development researchers and refugee and immigration scholars in 2015 when families fled Syria and found refuge in Germany in Canada. McGill


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