Government of Canada investment in solar cell technology at Simon Fraser University strengthens British Columbia’s leadership in clean tech

News release

Simon Fraser University’s Engineering Science lab receives funding to support clean technology projects

April 17, 2019 – Burnaby, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Solar power is one of Canada’s fastest growing sources of renewable energy. With proper infrastructure, solar cell technology can be used in applications like solar charging vehicles and solar roadways, which provide environmental and economic benefits for Canadians.

Today, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour, announced $558,000 in funding towards specialized equipment for Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Engineering Science lab. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). The new equipment will help British Columbia’s solar industry partners to collaborate and develop modern and reliable infrastructure that promotes clean growth and innovation.

The project will be led by a team of SFU and University of British Columbia Okanagan scientists, along with industry partners: Solar Earth Technologies, Cooledge Lighting, and Think Sensor Research. Through this investment, the project will create nine jobs in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The advanced manufacturing capability of the new machinery will also help develop solar cells used in solar roadways that can lead to new construction and manufacturing opportunities in Canada and abroad.

By investing in research facilities like SFU’s Engineering Science lab, the Government of Canada is supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and taking action to meet emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.


“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in at Simon Fraser University builds on our competitive advantages and will result in building a clean economy, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

 “To reduce our carbon footprint, we need to make smarter choices about our energy sources. Thanks to the team of scientists and researchers from SFU and UBC, along with their industry partners, we are ensuring that Canadians have access to cutting edge technology that will create less pollution and support a stronger, low-carbon Canadian economy.”

– Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour

“Through support from Western Economic Diversification Canada, our team will have access to the high-tech tools necessary to develop new solar cell technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques, in collaboration with our industrial partners.”

– Michael Adachi, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University

"This investment in solar cell technology will further support SFU’s innovative research and partnership strengths. As Canada’s engaged university, SFU has government, industry and university collaborations at its heart. On behalf of the university, I would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada for this exciting opportunity for us to work together toward Canada’s clean tech future.”

– Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University

“The research infrastructure and vast knowledge base of Simon Fraser University are crucial for the success of lean start-up economy-driving companies, like Solar Earth Technologies. I am excited to see support from Western Economic Diversification Canada that will enable access to state-of-the-art facilities. Success in innovative technologies will ensure that Canada remains prosperous while improving the day-to-day lives of its citizens and beyond.”

    – Michael Whitwick, Research Manager, Solar Earth Technologies

Quick facts

  • SFU’s School of Engineering Science operates at the frontiers of technological development and has been recognized internationally for its research excellence.

  • The Engineering Science faculty collaborates with industry partners involving Graphene and Graphene-like materials and quantum manufacturing, which have high potential to be disruptive technologies and may be considered a “material of the future”. 

Associated links


Ben Stanford
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada

Braden McMillan
Media Relations and Public Affairs
University Communications and Marketing

Stay Connected

Follow us on Twitter: @WD_Canada, @ISED_CA
WD Homepage
WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 1-877-303-3388

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: