Government of Canada invests in Canada’s first circular economy focused accelerator and test platform

News release

FedDev Ontario providing nearly $5 million to support companies in food and environment sectors and create 400 jobs

April 16, 2021 – Guelph, Ontario

Entrepreneurs in southern Ontario’s food and environment sectors have tremendous potential to create jobs and find greener solutions for a variety of areas. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting the growth of this key sector by providing businesses the resources they need to bring innovations to market faster, while creating good jobs, fostering a green recovery, and supporting circular economy outcomes.

Today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, announced a non-repayable FedDev Ontario investment of nearly $5 million for the City of Guelph to develop Canada’s first circular economy test platform and accelerator, the Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Through this project, the City of Guelph, in partnership with 10C Social Entrepreneurship Hub, Innovation Guelph, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and the County of Wellington, will accelerate the growth of circular economy-focused companies in the region. “Circular economy” refers to a system where businesses maximize resources by reusing or repurposing materials—eliminating waste and greenhouse gas emissions in all stages of production. By creating the right conditions for SMEs to advance circular economy solutions, the partners expect to create 400 jobs, commercialize over 100 new products or services, and support the development and growth of up to 70 businesses.

The project will build on the foundation of the existing circular food economy platform established by the City of Guelph through the INFC Smart Cities Challenge, expanding the reach of that platform into other sectors such as packaging, water and energy, and also expanding it to support companies located outside of Guelph in other regions of southern Ontario including Ottawa and London. The COIL will offer unique access to “living lab” facilities for testing the applications and impacts of transformative circular economy technologies in real-world settings. It will also provide SMEs access to seed funding and business advisory services to commercialize their innovations.

This support from the Government of Canada leverages over $5 million in additional private investment and enables a project that supports the City of Guelph’s goal of being a leader in sustainable development and the Government of Canada’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.


“Canada is ready to be a world leader in green recovery, and southern Ontario’s businesses are in a unique position to drive this goal by adopting and advancing circular economy innovations and processes. The FedDev Ontario investment announced today will support the region’s SMEs to grow and strengthen this critical area, bringing their ideas to market faster, while reducing carbon emissions and creating 400 jobs.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Now, more than ever, supporting environmentally-friendly solutions and processes is essential for Canada’s future and economic sustainability. With FedDev Ontario’s funding for the City of Guelph to establish a circular economy-focused accelerator and test platform, we are helping to jumpstart new companies to develop their innovations and bring their products to market, while supporting southern Ontario’s economy, and, more importantly, the health of our communities and the environment."
- Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“Once again, Guelph-Wellington is at the forefront of innovative, exciting projects that benefit everyone in our communities and beyond. This funding announcement is a testament to the commitment and innovation happening across our region.”
- Cam Guthrie, Mayor of Guelph

“This is terrific news for our region and for Canadians. Globally and locally, we have an opportunity to ‘build forward better’. From climate change to inequality, we are now seeing the consequences and negative effects of our ‘take, make, dispose’ socioeconomic model on our communities and the planet.”
- Barbara Swartzentruber, Executive Director, Smart Cities Office

Quick facts

  • Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

  • In 2019, Guelph won a $10-million grant through Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge for its commitment to reducing food waste.

  • The project announced today represents a significant collaboration across regional partners, working alongside the core project partners mentioned above. These include: Provision Coalition; University of Guelph; Business Centre Guelph-Wellington; LaunchIT Minto; Wellington-Waterloo Community Futures; Saugeen Community Futures; Alectra Green Energy and Technology Centre; Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario; Carleton University; Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future Initiative; Smart Prosperity Institute; Circular Innovation Council; Circular Economy Leadership Coalition; Conestoga College.

  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested nearly $159 million in 84 clean technology projects.

  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $33 million in 40 projects in the Wellington Census Division, which includes the City of Guelph.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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