Victoria group getting $1.34-million federal boost for clean tech

Victoria’s Alacrity Foundation is expected to get a $1.34-million shot in the arm today as the federal government plows another $2.2 million into B.C.’s clean tech sector to help it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Development ­Minister Melanie Joly will be in B.C. today to announce the funding, which is intended to drive innovation and commercialization of clean tech businesses.

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“This new funding will give Alacrity an excellent opportunity to connect Canadian innovation with significant challenges waiting to be solved,” said Alacrity managing director Richard Egli. “Canada plays a significant role in the development of clean technologies. Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs are addressing the world’s most significant environmental problems with innovative solutions.”

Over the last year and a half Alacrity has been scouring the province for new ideas in the clean tech sector that match up to problems being faced around the world like sourcing and ­storing renewable energy, ­biomass conversion, water use and recycling systems.

The Alacrity Foundation, which finds investment for and promotes young technology companies, has 10 global branches in places as far afield as China, India and Mexico that give British Columbia companies a window on the world. It gives those companies an inside track to international markets they wouldn’t normally have access to.

“Alacrity Canada is proud to be at the forefront of this effort to support the clean tech companies in reaching international markets and developing solutions for environmental issues,” said Egli.

The balance of the funding will be split between six groups including the Victoria-based South Island Prosperity Partnership, which will receive $100,000 to launch a task force to coordinate a region-wide response to the pandemic.

The province’s clean tech sector supports 16,300 jobs at over 290 companies with combined revenues of $2.4 billion annually.

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