Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges—Environment and Climate Change Canada Phase 1 recipients


The Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges are a series of funding opportunities through Innovative Solutions Canada. First launched in 2018, the program awards grants to small- and medium-sized enterprises to develop novel solutions to challenges set by the Government of Canada. In Phase 1, successful applicants may receive up to $150,000 to develop a proof of concept. If accepted into Phase 2, small- and medium-sized enterprises could receive an additional $1 million to develop a working prototype. These challenges create incentives for innovators and entrepreneurs to develop new technologies that tackle plastic waste. They are part of the Government of Canada’s comprehensive approach to addressing plastic waste and pollution, and support Canada’s vision of a zero-plastic-waste future.

The themes of the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges focus on sectors known to generate some of the greatest quantities of plastic waste and pollution, and/or areas that have technological gaps and show the greatest opportunity for impact and innovation, as identified in expert reports.

Challenge category: Mitigating the release of microplastics from tire wear

Microplastics from tire wear are recognized as a potentially significant source of plastic pollution, as small particles are shed from the tire during regular use. These small particles (i.e., microplastics) can enter the air, soil, and waterways where they contribute to plastic pollution. Bringing new technologies into the marketplace to reduce the release of microplastics from tire wear in the environment could create opportunities for Canadian industries to be market leaders in more sustainable manufacturing.

Company Location Technology Description Funding
Applied Quantum Materials Inc. Edmonton, Alberta Develop and integrate a specialized reinforcing additive (silica-coated biomaterials) for tires. Different tire formulations will be tested to minimize microplastic release over different road and temperature conditions. $150,000
Nova Graphene Canada Inc. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Research and develop the optimal process and loading of graphene in natural and synthetic rubber.  Graphene-enhanced rubber will reduce tire wear shedding, improve performance, and extend the life of the tire. $148,412
Stema Punch & Die Inc. Cambridge, Ontario Create specialized compositions (graphene-rubber compositions) for tires to improve their wear and help stop the shed of microplastics. $150,000

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