This post will be about another cleantech initiative: The Sustainable Development Technology Canada Joint Funds With the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) and Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES). (Sounds really scary, does not it? Don’t worry, below this cleantech initiative will be explained in plain language.)

Here are two separate funds that will award large sums of money to eligible projects. The joint SDTC/CCEMC cleantech initiative has a total of $40M to award to successful projects. The joint SDTC/AI-EES cleantech water initiative has a total of $8M to award to successful projects. The advantage of each joint fund is that they combine funding from two sources but your business need only apply to one streamlined, harmonized application process for either initiative. That’s a lot of money to give away; got your attention yet?

Who can use this cleantech initiative grant?

Both funds require the same criteria for eligibility. The SDTC/CCEMC joint fund is intended for small and medium-sized incorporated companies operating in Canada and having fewer than 500 employees and less than $50M in annual gross revenue. Currently, there are no restrictions on the number of funding applications submitted by an applicant. If you get CCEMC or SDTC funding for a part of your project you are not permitted to receive further funding for the same development. However, you can apply for SDTC/CCEMC funding for a new phase of development that builds on and advances a previously-funded phase.

Just like the SDTC/CCEMC joint fund, the SDTC/AI-EES joint fund is intended for small to medium-sized Canadian businesses that are incorporated. The applicant company must have fewer than 500 employees and revenues of less than $50M annually. Here the same rules restrict funding the same phase twice, but permit SDTC/AI-EES funding for successive phases.

Hmm, seems do-able doesn’t it? Are you running through a checklist in your head already? Let’s see just how much you could be eligible for with either fund.

How much money is on the table?

The SDTC/CCEMC joint fund can cover a maximum of 66.7% of your project’s eligible expenses, this translates to up to $10M for any one project! The SDTC/CCEMC joint fund will only match unencumbered cash contributions to the project for eligible expenses. Thus, many government funds (federal or provincial), offset credits, tax incentives, and non-cash contributions do not count as unencumbered and will not be matched. The maximum length for projects funded by the SDTC/CCEMC joint fund is 4 years.

Now for the second option. The SDTC/AI-EES joint fund can cover a maximum of 66.7% of your project’s eligible expenses, this translates to up to $1M for any one project. Hmm, what cleantech water development can your technology company bring to market for 1M? I’m thinking a substantial one! Again, the funders will only match unencumbered cash contributions to the project for eligible expenses. The same rules regarding unencumbered contributions apply to this SDTC/AI-EES fund as applied to the SDTC/CCEMC fund. The maximum length for projects funded by the SDTC/AI-EES joint fund is 2 years.

$10M or $1M, 4 years of funding or 2 years, there is a lot of money on the table here. If you have a company developing clean technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases contamination of air, water or soil, or reduces water consumption during an energy generation process relative to an existing technology this is your golden opportunity!

What I liked most

This initiative makes a lot of funds available for your small business and will fund eligible expenses in consecutive phases of the same project, unlike other programs that will only provide financial support once. This phase-by-phase funding is excellent for those bringing innovations to the market while uncertain about the potential costs and pitfalls in each step. This reduces a company’s risk of grossly underestimating the funds they need to develop its technology from start to finish and coming up short of cash, potentially stalling the whole project. Applying for funding for each phase of a project allows business owners to more closely estimate the money they need for each step of the project, means requesting less money at any given time, and makes it easier to pitch your application. Although there is less involvement and guidance regarding managerial organization and business planning, this also gives the technology entrepreneur more control over the direction of their company.

Final thought

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”  – Henry Ford

Persistence will win you what other virtues can’t. If you have the will to soar, your company will succeed.


ConnexFund specializes in grants and funding for innovative companies and start-ups with focus on technology and manufacturing. Many Canadian businesses are aware that there is some free money available for them. But not so many know where to find it, how to access it and how to prepare a grant application that is successful. And this is exactly what ConnexFund does!