New Report will help Ontario’s clean technology companies compete globally

The impact of globalization on Ontario’s economy, along with recent economic developments, has resulted in an urgent need to reassess the core economic strengths of the province’s industrial base. The Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report, analyzes Ontario’s clean technology industry and essential steps that can improve the commercial success of clean technology companies. To become global leaders, Ontario’s clean technologies need greater access to capital, top management talent, and increased domestic market demand for their innovations. Options are identified in the Report for both policy makers and clean technology company managers that, if adopted, could significantly enhance the industry’s competitiveness, create high-value jobs and greatly contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s future economic prosperity.

The Report will be launched on February 17, at an invitation only event at the MaRS Discovery District with comments from:

John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation
Dr. John Evans, MaRS
Barb Stymiest, RBC
Dr. Vicky Sharpe, Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Participating organizations: OCETA, The Russell-Mitchell Group, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Ogilvy Renault LLP, MaRS Discovery District, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Export Development Canada, RBC, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario BioAuto Council, and TMX Group Inc.

Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report

will present the findings of an extensive study undertaken in the autumn of 2008, where over 60 of Ontario’s leading clean technology companies were surveyed, and 32 CEOs were interviewed about their strategies for growth and their companies’ commercialization capabilities.

The main objectives of the Report are to: outline the state of commercialization capability of Ontario’s clean technology companies; identify the commercialization best practices of some of Ontario’s most successful firms; and identify any substantial barriers that would inhibit Ontario’s clean technology companies from becoming globally competitive companies.

Fifteen organizations are participating in The 2009 OCETA SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report as sponsors and support organizations. These include: Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Ogilvy Renault LLP, MaRS Discovery District, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Export Development Canada, RBC, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario BioAuto Council, TMX Group Inc., National Angel Capital Organization, Investeco, XPV Capital Corporation, Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, and Actual Media.

The Report will be officially released at an invitation only launch event in February 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. An electronic version of the Report will also be made available on The Clean Technology Report Web site at that time. This will be followed by regional briefing sessions planned for Ottawa, North Toronto, and Kitchener-Waterloo in the spring of 2009.

About SDTC

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm’s-length foundation which has received $1.05 billion from the Government of Canada as part of its commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions.  The $550 million SD Tech FundTM supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.  The $500 million NextGen Biofuels FundTM supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

Ogilvy Renault LLP

Ogilvy Renault LLP is a full-service law firm with close to 450 lawyers, patent and trade-mark agents practicing in the areas of business, litigation, intellectual property, and employment and labour. Ogilvy Renault has offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Québec, Toronto, and London (UK), and serves some of the largest and most successful corporations in Canada and in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Our Cleantech Team: The Ogilvy Renault Cleantech team combines legal disciplines with hands-on industry experience. Team members are integrated within areas of practice relevant to Cleantech clients, providing a tailored approach. These practice areas include Energy, Technology, Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, Project Finance, Venture Capital and Securities, Mergers and Acquisitions, Regulatory and Environmental, Corporate Law, Tax and Litigation.

We partner with a diverse spectrum of clients within the Cleantech industry including private sector entrepreneurs and developers, venture capital and private equity investors, technology developers, public sector institutions and governments. Our team has broad experience providing practical and targeted advice to clients in Cleantech sectors such as:

Agriculture and Nutrition
Environmental Information Technology
Materials Recovery & Recycling
Transportation and Logistics
Manufacturing & Industrial
Energy: Clean Energy Generation/Storage/Efficiency/Infrastructure
Enabling Technologies
Air Quality
Materials Sciences & Nanotechnology
Water Purification and Management

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Canada has one of the most successful and prosperous economies in the world today. That success is a product of many distinct Canadian advantages, including longstanding openness to international trade and investment. Participation in global commerce has helped Canadians build a strong, stable economy that boasts thousands of leading-edge companies, a highly skilled and educated workforce, world-class financial infrastructure and top-quality research and development facilities. Canada is an ambitious and dynamic player with a strong track record of success in global commerce.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) delivers Canada’s foreign policy objectives and works to expand the participation of Canadian business in world markets. The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of DFAIT helps Canadians in the international marketplace, while promoting Canada as a dynamic place in which to do business and a competitive location and partner for investment and innovation. Supporting Canada’s clean technology industry globally is an important priority of the Trade Commissioner Service.

McGuinty Government On Track To Turn Cleantech Into Jobs of the Future

A new report says Ontario’s clean technology companies are doing a good job turning ideas into new green jobs – and that the keys to global success are within reach.

The 2009 OCETA SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report, outlines specific ways that government can do more to help these companies take the next step in attracting more global customers and investment, such as:

Increasing domestic demand for clean technology by acting as an early adopter
Setting aggressive environmental and sustainability targets
Developing a clean technology procurement strategy
Establishing commercialization benchmarks and adopting consistent, global best practices across the province.
The report analyzes the size and structure of 110 Ontario-based clean technology companies. It credits the province’s $3-billion Innovation Agenda for providing many of these companies with early stage R&D support, and its proponents say the proposed Green Energy Act will position cleantech as a driver of Ontario’s future social and economic prosperity.

Water & Wastewater

Clean water technologies include advanced water purification technologies and wastewater treatment. Water purification technologies purify potable or industrial water and include advanced oxidation technologies such as ozone disinfection and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection; membrane technologies involving micro-filtration, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis and other related separation technologies such as ion exchange and electro-dialysis; as well as technologies involving coagulation, flocculation and clarification.

Wastewater treatment technologies treat grey water or wastewater from residential and industrial consumers and include biological aerated filtration; trickling filters; membrane bioreactors; nitrification and denitrification systems; enhanced biological phosphorus removal technologies; UV disinfection; anaerobic and aerobic sludge digestion; and biosolids utilization. Other important water resources management technologies include automated systems and instrumentation that can monitor and control non-point-source pollution, point-source discharges, spills of hazardous materials, bio-toxins and contamination of water supplies; as well as products to optimize the management and operation of water and wastewater treatment and conveyance infrastructure.

MaRS Discovery District

Leading jurisdictions around the world are investing in a variety of models to build globally competitive companies from their science and technology assets.

In 2000, private and public sector leaders came together to create MaRS, a non-profit innovation hub that connects the worlds of science, business and capital with the goal of dramatically improving commercial outcomes.

Located in Toronto’s Discovery District, the MaRS Centre is the gateway to Canada’s largest concentration of scientific research, anchored by major teaching hospitals, the University of Toronto and more than two dozen affiliated research institutes.

Fast forward to 2009 – four years after MaRS opened the doors on its 700,000 sq. ft. complex – and the innovation engine is humming:

More than 2,000 people come to work at the MaRS Centre’s three linked buildings in a mix of research labs, companies of all sizes and professional service providers. Thousands more attend workshops, meetings, conferences and exhibits at the Centre.
Incubator space for emerging companies remains in high demand with a growing list of tenant prospects.
The MaRS team is providing high quality market research and extensive advisory and mentorship services to Ontario-wide entrepreneurs across all sectors, including Information and Communication Technology, Life Sciences and Environmental and Energy Technologies.
The MaRS team also designs and delivers programming for thousands of entrepreneurs through MaRS-branded offerings, including CIBC presents Entrepreneurship 101, Experience!Tech and Peer to Peer Events.

Clean Technologies Will Drive Ontario’s Future Economic Prosperity

A groundbreaking Report on Ontario’s clean technology industry was released today. This first ever study, done by OCETA and the Russell-Mitchell Group, in collaboration with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the Ontario Government, found that Ontario’s clean technology industry is poised for growth, and is comprised of companies that manufacture, develop and sell competitive products. Despite this promise, these companies face key challenges in becoming globally competitive – including lack of growth capital, weak domestic demand, and a small pool of management experienced in product commercialization.

The Report found that in order for Ontario clean technology companies to capture a greater global market share, they need to increase their spending in product commercialization by between 50 and 100 percent. They also need to be more strategic and intentional about growth.

According to Céline Bak, Partner with the Russell-Mitchell Group, the future looks promising: “There is an opportunity to stimulate the clean technology industry by aggressively implementing made-in-Canada clean technology products within government. The energy savings from these investments could reach billions of dollars creating tens of thousands of jobs. The cost savings achieved by the provincial and federal governments could be reinvested in the clean technology industry to drive global competitiveness”.

“Adoption of clean technology solutions reduces the energy needs and other costs of Canadian industry, thereby contributing to their productivity and competitiveness,” said Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC, an arm’s-length, not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada. “The best practices and opportunities outlined in this report will contribute to the future success of the cleantech industry in Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada.”

“Considerable public and private investments in science and technology development have been made in Ontario’s clean technology sector. Now is the time for industry and government to act, capitalize on this investment and accelerate growth of the sector”, said Kevin Jones, President and CEO of OCETA.

“By turning our world-class research into world-class businesses we can become a cleantech powerhouse. We’re committed to continue working with companies that want to compete globally and create good jobs for Ontario families,” said John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation.

“Encouraging the development and adoption of clean technologies right here in our own province is the right thing to do for our environment – and our economy. Soon, I will be introducing a new Green Energy Act designed to support home-grown innovation, create thousands of green sector jobs and make Ontario a world leader in renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation,” said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

The Report recommends key measures to enhance Ontario’s clean technology industry, including: improving commercialization capacity; creating access to more equity capital; and driving domestic demand. These measures will help make the industry more competitive, create high-paying jobs, and contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s economic prosperity.

The 2009 OCETA SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report

Other sponsors and support organizations included: Ogilvy Renault LLP, MaRS Discovery District, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Export Development Canada, RBC, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ontario BioAuto Council, TMX Group Inc., Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, National Angel Capital Organization, XPV Capital and Investeco Capital.

Cleantech spending crucial, study says

Ontario companies produce some of the best technologies in the world for greening electricity, reducing waste and cleaning up water, but bringing these products to a global market will require up to $1.2 billion in investment over the next three to five years, according to a study released yesterday.

Where will this still-maturing sector find that kind of cash, particularly in a risk-adverse marketplace where capital is drying up and competition south of the border seems to get first dibs?

“We need something to prime the pump,” said Céline Bak, a partner with Russell-Mitchell Group Inc., an Ottawa-based management consulting firm and author of the study, the first of its kind looking into the size and make-up of Ontario’s budding “cleantech” scene.

The study argues that provincial and municipal governments can play a crucial role by establishing “made-in-Ontario” procurement strategies that would showcase local clean technology products and boost investor and customer confidence.

“What companies really need are orders,” said Bak, adding that such a strategy would take government procurement beyond one-off demonstration projects to more wide-scale deployment.

“The opportunity for Ontario’s clean technology companies to compete on a global level has never been more attractive,” according to the report. “At the same time, Ontario’s clean technology companies face intensifying foreign competition, as Ontario, itself, competes with other jurisdictions to attract investment in clean technology businesses.”

Kevin Jones, president of the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement, which co-researched the report, cited the measures that individual U.S. states are taking to support their local cleantech markets and create jobs at home.

Their efforts will be further bolstered by the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package, which has committed tens of billions of dollars toward cleantech spending. As it is, U.S. cleantech companies already spend two to three times more on product commercialization than Ontario companies. Meanwhile, the average size of late-stage venture capital financings for U.S. companies is nearly seven times higher.

“They’re taking bold measures, bold steps through government policy and regulations to help grow their industries, and we have to do the same,” said Jones.

The report identified 110 cleantech companies in Ontario, nearly half of which are based in the Greater Toronto Area. They’re mostly small private companies with minimal, if any, revenues, and 55 per cent of them are led by first-time chief executives. Most lack executives experienced in product management, marketing, government relations and sales.

Jones said a lack of capital is part of the reason Ontario cleantech companies can’t hire seasoned executives, and as a result can’t jump to the next level of product commercialization.

“Unless you have those abilities in sales and marketing, product management, strategy, you’re not going to be able to grow that business, create jobs and attract that investment.”

Much of the analysis in the report was based on interviews with the CEOs of 31 cleantech companies, including Toronto-area firms Morgan Solar, 6N Silicon, EnviroTower, Fifth Light Technology, and Regen Energy. Sponsors include Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Bak said the motivation for the study was to prevent Ontario’s cleantech sector from becoming a research and development farm for U.S.-based companies. She saw it happen already in the information and technology sector. “We just don’t want to see this happening again in cleantech.”

John Wilkinson, Ontario’s minister of research and innovation, said he supports the idea of government becoming an early adopter as a way to kick-start the sector and has pushed to have government procurement part of the upcoming Green Energy Act and provincial budget.

“Given the impetus coming from President Obama, we have the opportunity here to surf their wave,” said Wilkinson.

“The good news is we have a number of burgeoning cleantech companies that have globally significant products.”

Wilkinson said he’s travelling to San Francisco next week for a major cleantech conference, where he’ll be holding some key meetings aimed at promoting local firms.

The Clean Technology Report Opens the Market

eorge Ross, Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, opened the market today to celebrate the release of The 2009 OCETA SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report. This first ever study found that Ontario’s clean technology industry is poised for growth, and is comprised of companies that manufacture, develop and sell competitive products.

Strategic recommendations are provided on key measures to enhance Ontario’s clean technology industry. The Report was prepared by OCETA and The Russell-Mitchell Group, in collaboration with Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Ontario Government. TMX Group Inc. was a sponsor of the Report.Read more