Government of Canada funds pioneering manufacturer of high-purity alumina used in lithium-ion batteries

News release

December 1, 2021 – Oakville, Ontario

Investment supports Polar Sapphire, a growing Canadian cleantech company, and will help Canada meet its ambitious climate objectives

Canada’s cleantech entrepreneurs are proving their power to take on today’s environmental challenges. Working in partnership with innovative companies, the Government of Canada is supporting the growth of a greener economy.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of $4.1 million in Oakville-based Polar Sapphire through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). This is the second SDTC investment in Polar Sapphire and part of a continuing collaboration that is helping the company become a leader in the production of high-purity alumina (HPA) used in next-generation solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LIB).

Polar Sapphire will use the investment to evolve its core process for the manufacture of a different type of HPA, improving the product’s quality and purity while expanding its market. The company employs cutting-edge technology to perform purification at lower temperatures and with less power, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of HPA production.

Next-generation LIBs will require HPA as a key ingredient. These solid-state LIBs could be a game changer for electric vehicles and many other clean technologies by charging faster, storing more energy, offering greater safety than liquid LIBs and helping propel the shift to a net-zero carbon economy.

The Government of Canada is committed to investing in clean technology that lays the foundation for a stronger, greener and more sustainable economy that creates opportunities for all Canadians. Today’s investments will help grow our economy and support Canada’s ability to meet its 2030 climate commitments and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


“Now is the time for ambitious climate action. Cleantech innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization are key to the vital shift to a healthier environment and a net-zero carbon economy. Today’s announcement will boost our leadership in climate and waste reduction technologies and help foster a truly Canadian success story.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canadian entrepreneurs are driving the innovation that is moving us towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. This investment will enable Polar Sapphire to rapidly accelerate and commercialize its ideas and continues the momentum of public and private commitments to reducing global emissions.”
– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

“SDTC funding will allow Polar Sapphire to build a demonstration line for manufacturing high-purity alumina used in the production of lithium-ion batteries. We are very excited about the tremendous growth opportunities for battery raw materials created by the rapid growth in electric vehicles.”
– Scott Nichol, Founder and CEO, Polar Sapphire

Quick facts

  • Clean technology companies currently employ more than 211,000 Canadians in rewarding, well-paying jobs.

  • SDTC is an independent federal foundation that funds companies with the potential to become world leaders in environmental technologies and help solve some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change and polluted air, water and soil.

  • SDTC is Canada’s largest funder of clean technology entrepreneurs, and its support makes a significant difference in today’s hyper-competitive global market.

  • Since 2001, SDTC has invested more than $1.38 billion in 460 companies that have generated $2.8 billion in annual revenues, created 16,930 jobs, brought 177 new technologies to market and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22.4 megatonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking almost 7 million cars off the road every year.

  • The world is taking notice of Canada’s leadership in clean technology: 11 Canadian companies, 9 of which have been funded by SDTC, placed on the 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list.

  • In December 2020, the Government of Canada announced A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, Canada’s strengthened climate plan, which has increased support for SDTC with an additional $750 million over five years, representing the single largest Government of Canada investment in SDTC since its inception in 2001. 

Associated links


John Power
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

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