Making Ontario Greener One Innovation At A Time
The McGuinty government has made innovation a priority. In fact, it is part of the government's five-point plan on the economy.
The government has also made the environment and clean technologies an area of focus. Both are a central part of the recently announced Next Generation of Jobs Fund.
Ontario's Innovation Demonstration Fund (IDF) supports both of these critical priorities. It provides funding to companies to help them demonstrate and commercialize an emerging bio-based, environmental or alternative energy technology. The aim is to help accelerate the movement of these technologies into the marketplace.
Interest in these kinds of clean technologies is exploding. According to the Cleantech Network, venture capitalists invested $3.5 billion in cleantech companies in North America and Europe in 2006, a 45 per cent increase over 2005.
Demonstrating and piloting these technologies in Ontario plays a vital role in ensuring the province can capture a leading share of this growing market. These projects give companies the opportunity to prove an emerging technology can be effective, a critical step in attracting lead customers and investment.
Through IDF, Ontario is investing $30 million over four years in these innovative initiatives. To date, the Fund has already invested in:
- Plasco Energy Group - Turning Waste Into Clean Energy
IDF invested $4 million to support a demonstration plant in Ottawa, with plant operation by Plasco Energy Group. The plant will operate for two years at the city's Trail Road landfill and divert 85 tonnes of waste per day. Using Plasco's patented plasma gasification technology, the plant will break the waste down with no emissions, leaving a clean fuel, used to generate clean energy, and an inert, glass-like solid. About 20 per cent of the electricity generated will power the plant; the rest will be sold to the Ontario electricity market.
- The Woodbridge Group: BioFoam
Ontario has invested $1 million to support the research and commercialization of soy-based polyol in polyurethane automotive products. The project will help commercialize the use of polyols -- a key ingredient in the production of the polyurethane material used in automotive seats and interior pieces -- produced from renewable soy oil. Currently, these materials are made using polyols derived from non-renewable petroleum. The project will be led by the Woodbridge Group, a leading supplier of automotive urethane technologies, who will bring the product to market.
- GreenCore Composites: Green Inside
Ontario has invested $400,000 to Greencore Composites to set up a demonstration plant in Mississauga for the production of its Green Inside material -- a high-performance natural fiber reinforced composite. By replacing petroleum-based materials with sustainable natural fibers, Greencore's Green Inside composite offers environmental benefits while more than doubling the strength of the base synthetic material. Greencore is working to commercialize the material for use in Ontario's auto sector.