Government of Canada announces almost $10 million to launch the Clean Hydrogen Hub and scale-up made-in-Canada innovation

News release

Image of a hydrogen fuel pump. Text reads: Government of Canada to announce investments to build B.C.’s leadership in the global hydrogen economy and support entrepreneurs

Two Simon Fraser University projects will support B.C.’s leadership in the hydrogen economy and local entrepreneurs

May 31, 2024 – Burnaby, British Columbia – PacifiCan

As countries around the world transition to clean energy, investments in cutting-edge technologies will help support a strong economy at home and secure Canada’s position as a global energy leader. By working together with academia and industry, the Government of Canada is fueling new opportunities for local talent and technology to address the global challenge of climate change.

Today, the Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced almost $10 million in PacifiCan funding for two innovative initiatives led by Simon Fraser University, including the first Canadian academic-industry clean hydrogen energy project of its kind.

Over $9.4 million will be used to establish a new Clean Hydrogen Hub at SFU’s Burnaby campus. This project will also receive $1 million from the Province of B.C.’s Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy, nearly $2.4 million from Simon Fraser University, $1 million from the City of Burnaby, as well as several other partners.

Hydrogen is a low-emission source of energy; however, producing hydrogen can be costly and the process is often reliant on fossil fuels.  With over 80 low-carbon hydrogen production projects across Canada, the sector represents over $100 billion in potential investment in domestic clean energy opportunities and jobs. The Hub will be available for companies who want to develop and refine emerging hydrogen-energy technologies.

By using breakthrough, B.C.-developed electrolyzer technology, the Hub will generate hydrogen using hydroelectricity, a clean energy source. This technology also reduces the costs associated with traditional electrolyzers. Once operational, any hydrogen generated by the Hub will be sold to industry users. This will increase the use of hydrogen in B.C. and create a sustainable revenue source for the Hub.

As countries around the globe use more hydrogen, the Hub will help ensure Canadian companies have local access to the resources they need to help them innovate. It is expected that this project will generate $104 million in revenue growth across a number of companies. Also, advancing hydrogen as a fuel source will help Canada meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, create jobs, and produce the energy we need.

PacifiCan is also investing $425,000 to help SFU to deliver its Lab2Market program through VentureLabs. This pilot offers a suite of programs for graduate students and researchers to develop their entrepreneurship skills and efficient commercialize their innovations. This is in addition to $3 million previously announced for VentureLabs in 2019.

PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.



“Projects like the Clean Hydrogen Hub position British Columbian innovators as leaders in the hydrogen economy, which is projected to reach over $11 trillion by 2050. The Government of Canada’s support for home-grown innovation is driving economic growth for British Columbians today and building a cleaner, more prosperous future for generations to come.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Burnaby is home to a robust ecosystem of innovative companies and academic institutions such as Simon Fraser University. This powerful combination of business and academia is creating a positive environment that is developing local solutions to global challenges and contributing to a strong economy in B.C.”
- The Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour

“Hydrogen is a critical pathway for B.C.’s transition away from higher-carbon fuels to cleaner low-carbon energy as we work toward meeting legislated 2030-2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets. We proudly stand with our federal, academic, industry and municipal partners at the beginning of this important new hub that will connect and strengthen B.C.’s clean hydrogen economy.”
- The Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Mid Island – Pacific Rim

“The City of Burnaby is committed to exploring solutions that will enhance our community’s ability to mitigate the effects of climate change and advance research for the benefit of communities across B.C. and beyond. To meet our ambitious climate targets, we need to work together with our community partners and colleagues at SFU and I’m excited about the possibilities this project will open in the future.”
- His Worship Mike Hurley, Mayor, City of Burnaby

“As a leading research university and trusted innovation partner, SFU is engaging in global challenges to make a difference for B.C. and Canada. I am excited that funding provided for the Clean Hydrogen Hub and VentureLabs will help us advance innovation in B.C. and meet local, provincial and national climate goals while developing the scientific and industry expertise needed to build a thriving Canadian hydrogen sector." 
- Joy Johnson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University

Quick facts

  • Achieving net-zero emissions means the economy either emits no greenhouse gas emissions and/or offsets its emissions, for example, through actions such as tree planting or employing technologies that can capture carbon before it is released into the air.

  • Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy aims to have 30% of Canada’s end-use energy be from clean hydrogen by 2050.

  • The global hydrogen economy is expected to grow to USD 263.5 billion by 2027.

  • More than 50% of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell companies are in B.C. and account for nearly 60% of research investment in hydrogen and fuel-cell development.

  • There are now 13 low-carbon hydrogen production facilities in operation across Canada, able to produce over 3,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen per year.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Lynsey Brothers
A/Communications Manager

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