As part of Cleantech Export Week 2018, Export Development Canada (EDC) is once again excited to recognize three stand-out Canadian cleantech companies as Cleantech Exports Stars, and name two more companies “Ones to Watch.”
These five companies, whose technologies and business strategies have successfully taken their products beyond Canada’s borders, stand out because of their dynamic solutions to climate change, waste and water management, and feeding a growing population while contributing to the Canadian economy.
“Canada has a great reputation for developing innovative clean technology. The companies we are recognizing today know the potential that lies outside our borders and understand the challenges Canadian cleantech companies face getting there,” said Carl Burlock, Senior Vice President, Global Head Financing and International Growth Capital, EDC. “By sharing the stories of these outstanding organizations, we hope other potential exporters will be inspired by their success to begin their own export journeys.”
Based on commitments under the Paris Agreement, the World Bank estimates global cleantech opportunities to be $23 trillion through 2030.
EDC has a dedicated team focused on understanding the industry’s needs and delivering the right solutions to help Canadian cleantech companies grow their business internationally.
The crown corporation is Canada’s largest provider of financial solutions for cleantech companies. Since 2012, EDC has facilitated more than $5 billion worth of cleantech export business and supported more than 190 Canadian cleantech companies in the first three quarters of 2018 alone.
2018 Cleantech Export Stars
City: Winnipeg, Manitoba
CEO: Wade Barnes
Farmers Edge is at the leading edge of what some people are calling the second agricultural revolution – the development of data-driven precision agriculture that will allow farmers to continue feeding the world’s growing population. Manitoba agronomists Wade Barnes and Curtis McKinnon created Farmers Edge when they realized that agricultural productivity could dramatically increase, with less water and fertilizer, by collecting and analyzing data on soil chemistry, moisture content and more. Today, the company’s services still focus on data, but from a much larger range of sources that include daily satellite imagery, on-farm weather stations, soil sampling, nutrient management, precision application technologies for fertilizer and water, and artificial-intelligence-based software that gives producers an all-up understanding and direct control of their land and productivity.
Westport Fuel Systems
City: Vancouver, British Columbia
CEO: Nancy Gougarty
Westport Fuel Systems’ technology has the potential to make an important contribution to combatting global climate change and the sales potential to drive the creation of new cleantech jobs in British Columbia and beyond. Westport Fuel Systems’ roots trace back to early public concern about air quality issues in the 1970s and University of British Columbia professor Philip Hill’s desire to build a better diesel engine. Research eventually led to the development of the first high-pressure direct injection technology (HDPI), which injects a small amount of diesel into an internal combustion engine. This allows the engine to mimic the diesel combustion cycle using 90% natural gas, delivering similar power with fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The company was created to commercialize the technology in 1995. Ongoing development led to a 2017 partnership that used improved, lower-cost Westport HDPI 2.0™ components to build an advanced heavy-duty truck that could deliver comparable power to diesel-only vehicles with 20% lower CO2 emissions.
City: Lévis, Québec
CEO: Jocelyn Boudreau
Hortau began working on better agricultural irrigation systems in 2002, at a time when droughts and water management were still seen as “regional” issues that most farmers would never need to worry about. Sixteen years later, water management has been confirmed as a worldwide concern and Hortau’s web-based irrigation management technology has become the right product at the right time. Using mobile software, Hortau’s patented smart irrigation management system shows growers how their crops are faring in real time, allowing them to irrigate or adjust practices before stresses like drought or lack of aeration can have a negative impact on the crop. The company’s software collects soil data on an ongoing basis, providing farmers with information that can help them anticipate crop stress, optimize the growth of their crops, and save money on key agricultural cost inputs, like water, energy, and soil nutrients. By conserving agricultural water resources, Hortau is improving the sustainability of the North American food supply and bringing jobs and economic opportunities to Canadians.
2018 Cleantech “One to Watch”
City: Waterloo, Ontario
CEO: Olga Pawluczyk
P&P Optica’s Smart Imaging System accurately sorts meat and product on production lines for nutrition and safety, which puts better quality food on the tables of consumers with much less waste. In other words, it helps us maximize the use of a finite resource - our food. Modern food production still relies on hand sorting that favours the nicest looking foods over the most nutritious foods. This both lowers the quality of our food supply and wastes some of the best products farmers grow. P&P Optica’s patented technology combines hyperspectral imaging and artificial intelligence to instantly read the chemistry of food as it passes through the production line. Processors receive detailed information about each piece of food on the production line and can use that data to stream it for the best possible use.
City: Montreal, Québec
CEO: Jocelyn Doucet
In a sector where every innovation is called disruptive, Pyrowave’s technology that finally allows plastics to be fully recycled has legitimately earned the right to be called a “solution.” Post-consumer plastic waste has limited market interest and only about eight per cent of all plastics are recycled, mostly resulting in a mixed plastic product with limited uses. Pyrowave’s patented technology uses small Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD) units to “unzip” plastics back into their constituent chemicals, turning a low value waste stream into a high value commodity that can make new plastics with properties identical to virgin. CMD technology can even unzip post-consumer polystyrene waste, which is notoriously difficult to recycle.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian businesses make an impact at home and abroad. EDC has the financial products and knowledge Canadian companies need to confidently enter new markets, reduce financial risk and grow their business as they go from local to global. Together, EDC and Canadian companies are building a more prosperous, stronger and sustainable economy for all Canadians.
For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit www.edc.ca.
Zoé de Bellefeuille
Export Development Canada