MP Gerretsen announces over $2.5 million investment through GreenCentre Canada program

Kingston and the Islands Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Gerretsen was in Innovation Park to announce a substantial investment from the federal government to support “early-stage cleantech companies in southern Ontario.”

Gerretsen made the announcement today, Thursday, Jul. 21, 2022, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Specifically, Gerretsen announced an over $2.5 million investment for GreenCentre Canada, located here in Kingston and in Mississauga, to “help businesses in the cleantech sector commercialize their products, scale-up their businesses and create jobs in southern Ontario,” according to a press release from FedDev Ontario. The investment comes from the Jobs and Growth Fund.

Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands, announced an over $2.5 million investment in early-stage cleantech companies through the Advance-ON program at GreenCentre Canada, one location of which is right here in Kingston. Photo via MP Gerretsen’s office.

The investment is a non-repayable contribution, aimed at addressing “the need for clean technology.” As that need grows, Canada’s cleantech sector is expanding with “innovative ideas that are ready to be put to the test,” the federal government said.

“That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting growth in this important sector that will create valuable technologies and good jobs for Canadians,” FedDev Ontario stated.

Gerretsen said, “Through support for GreenCentre Canada’s Advance-ON program, the Government of Canada is supporting the transition to a clean, green economy. Today’s investment reflects our commitment to helping local innovators succeed and to the equal participation of underrepresented groups in our economy.”

The investment is intended to allow GreenCentre Canada to deliver the Advance-ON program: a combination of access to specialized laboratory equipment and technical experts for early-stage cleantech companies ready to commercialize their technologies and expand their businesses. According to FedDev Ontario, the companies selected for the program will each have a plan “tailored to address their specific needs to accelerate their product and process developments.”

Through the investment, GreenCentre Canada will assist up to 30 small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), support 650 jobs – 350 during the project period and 300 more within two years of the project’s completion – and leverage almost $400,000 in private sector investment, FedDev Ontario asserted.

Participants will also receive business advisory supports through subject matter experts like chemists, chemical engineers, and specialists that will help them with product development and commercialization activities. This will help entrepreneurs get their products to market faster, the government explained.

“GreenCentre Canada thanks FedDev Ontario for their commitment to helping high-potential companies develop and make significant contributions to the Canadian economy. Our organization is uniquely positioned to deploy its resources, network of relationships, and expertise to help these companies de-risk and eventually scale up their innovative technologies,” said Andrew Pasternak, Executive Director of GreenCentre Canada.

GreenCentre Canada, founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit organization offering unique services through technical experts and specialized laboratories, all aimed at supporting the growth of sustainable chemical and advanced materials companies in advancing innovations to the market. According to FedDev Ontario, GreenCentre Canada has leveraged government funding to assist over 130 Canadian SMEs, which have since raised over $1 billion and created more than 700 jobs since 2014.

Now, through Advance-ON, GreenCentre Canada will also focus on supporting and prioritizing underrepresented groups in the cleantech sector and identifying and supporting companies developing clean technologies that could benefit Indigenous communities, the federal government said.

“The objective of our Advance-ON program is to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies in southern Ontario so they can rapidly benefit both the environment and [the] Canadian economy,” said Pasternak.

MP Mark Gerretsen (back, far right) is joined by those with GreenCentre Canada, including Executive Director Andrew Pasternak (far left) and Business Operations Manager Tim Clark (second from left). Photo via MP Gerretsen’s office.

Applications for Advance-ON are currently being accepted. Start-ups incorporated on or after January 1, 2020, are encouraged to apply. Additional details related to the program and the application process can be found on the Advance-ON website.

For more information on GreenCentre Canada, visit their website.

The exact amount of the contribution is “up to $2,568,188,” according to FedDev Ontario.

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