Export Development Canada (EDC) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced today a collaborative agreement to further develop Canada's international capabilities in the cleantech sector.
"Cleantech companies need to scale up and go global, which provides a natural fit for EDC and SDTC to work together to help put Canadian companies at the forefront of the industry," said Stephen Poloz, President and CEO, EDC. "At the core, this partnership is about giving Canadian cleantech companies every advantage and opportunity to grow into global leaders."
"While SDTC has helped companies in our portfolio attract over $3 billion in private capital through our vast network of industry and early stage equity investors, more needs to be done to unlock commercial bank finance for this sector," said Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO, SDTC. "This collaboration will help Canada claim its share of the burgeoning global clean technology market, with the potential to drive huge job growth in this field -- from more than 44,000 to 125,000 positions by 2020."
For over a decade SDTC has helped the most promising clean technology companies bridge the development and demonstration gap; providing funding, guidance and vital industry connections to help high potential companies scale up and prove their technical and market viability with strategic industry partners and end users. Even after a clean technology company has proven its technology domestically, however, another formidable commercial finance or bankability gap exists that impairs their ability to bring their clean technology solutions to scale in the global marketplace.
"This agreement focuses on bridging the gap between proven technology and commercial bankability," added Poloz. "One of the important benefits of this agreement will be sharing information in a way that enables SDTC's portfolio companies, those that have successfully demonstrated their technology, to quickly and efficiently transition to EDC as they approach the bankability and exportability stage."
EDC and SDTC have complementary approaches that make bringing a technology to market more streamlined and efficient. EDC's programs can help to incite commercial financing similar to the way SDTC's process de-risks technology development and levers incremental private-sector investment. Aside from the financial instruments that they deploy, the involvement of EDC and SDTC can often reassure downstream investors and customers.
Under the terms of the agreement, EDC will also seek to deploy its range of products, including bonding, guarantees, financing and political risk insurance, in projects or transactions involving later-stage STDC companies. SDTC will share with EDC its assessment of technology risks and the capacity of portfolio companies to perform in international markets. EDC will also look for opportunities within its network of foreign buyers and top global corporations, and leverage its many partnerships with multilateral organizations (other export credit agencies, development banks, etc.) whose activities and programs present opportunities for the technology solutions developed by SDTC portfolio companies.
"EDC can play a unique role in the development of the Canadian cleantech sector," said Mr. Poloz. "We are looking to catalyze capital for companies that have passed the "demonstration stage" of development. Many of SDTC's portfolio companies are great matches for our approach, and we look forward to working with SDTC and other commercial financial institutions to give this initiative real momentum."
"EDC has a long and successful track record of helping companies from a range of industries access capital and global markets," said Vicky Sharpe, "and we are thrilled to partner with EDC on bringing their resources, network and expertise to bear for the benefit of the highly innovative companies that we work with in the Canadian clean technology sector."