Government of Canada supports British Columbia’s clean technology sector

News release

Minister Melanie Joly announces $2.2 million in federal funding to help some of BC’s most innovative companies grow, create jobs and recover from the impact of COVID-19

September 16, 2020 – Victoria, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses across British Columbia, and those whose livelihoods rely on them. As BC’s economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the clean tech sector and other innovative businesses will play a major role in in helping it come back strong and support growth across the province.

A global leader in the clean tech, BC’s clean tech sector supports 16,300 jobs at over 290 companies in communities across the province. The sector continues to grow and prosper, with revenues climbing from $1.8 billion in 2016 to $2.4 billion in 2019. As it recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is a partner in helping the industry recover, reopen and retool to emerge stronger than before.

Support for innovative businesses across BC

Today, the Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $2.2 million in federal funding to help innovative small businesses in BC’s clean tech sector and beyond grow and create jobs.

This investment will support seven innovative organizations across the province, most notably the Alacrity Foundation of BC – a leading not-for-profit with a mandate to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in BC. This funding will create 100 new, well-paying jobs through the British Columbia Clean Tech Market Development Initiative, which will assist small businesses across Western Canada, both in the immediate term and as they scale-up in the years to come.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting workers and businesses in British Columbia, and the innovative companies that provide good jobs in communities across the province. The federal funding announced today will go towards the following organizations:

  • The Alacrity Foundation of BC: $1,334,425 to assist western Canadian clean tech companies scale-up through increased international sales and investment during the pandemic recovery phase;
  • The Discovery Foundation: $95,000 to deliver targeted business resilience support to participating small communities across BC;
  • The BC Chamber of Commerce: $500,000 to deliver business resiliency and recovery training to SMEs across BC;
  • The Surrey Board of Trade: $50,000 to support the Surrey COVID-19 Pandemic Business Centre in delivering business economic recovery initiatives;
  • The Burnaby Board of Trade: $25,000 to deliver its Business Digital Development Assistance Program to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic;
  • The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade: $100,000 to develop and deliver virtual events to help business adapt their activities to new markets; and,
  • South Island Prosperity Partnership: $100,000 to launch a Rising Economy Task Force to coordinate a region-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Small businesses across BC have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we’re here for them. This investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support good jobs across the province, while helping seven innovative companies thrive. Our message to British Columbians is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good jobs across the province and help BC’s economy come back strong.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"Business associations and economic development agencies will play a key role as B.C. works through economic recovery. Part of this work means focusing on key economic drivers like clean tech and trade and investment. Initiatives like the Alacrity BC CleanTech program help B.C. businesses find new opportunities and new markets around the world.”

– The Honourable Michelle Mungall, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness

“Canada plays a significant role in the development of clean technologies. Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs are addressing the world’s most significant environmental problems with innovative solutions. They are on a quest to help this planet survive for many generations to come; Alacrity Canada, is proud to be at the forefront of this effort to support the cleantech companies in reaching international markets and developing solutions for environmental issues. This new funding will give Alacrity an excellent opportunity to connect Canadian innovation with significant challenges waiting to be solved. Alacrity would like to thank Western Economic Diversification and the Provincial Government of BC for their on-going support for this initiative.”

– Richard Egli, Managing Director, Alacrity Canada

Associated links


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Amanda Costa
A/Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia

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