Natural Resources Canada: New Clean Growth Program – Call for Letter of Interest

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1.1 The Clean Growth in Natural Resource Sectors Program – Overview

Under Budget 2017, $200M was provided to support clean innovation in Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors. Of this, $155 million will be delivered under the Clean Growth in the Natural Resource Sectors Program (CGP) to support clean technology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D), including up to first commercial installations, in Canada’s energy, mining and forestry sectors.

1.2 Document Scope

This Program and Applicants’ Guide has been developed to provide details on the Clean Growth in Natural Resource Sectors Program (CGP), including program objectives, eligibility, and selection process. This funding process is divided into two stages: the Letter of Interest (LOI) stage and the Full Project Proposal (FPP) stage. This Applicants’ Guide contains instructions for the LOI stage only. An FPP Guide will be made available to applicants that are successful at the LOI stage only

2 Program Overview

2.1 Collaboration

The program puts into action the Government of Canada’s new collaborative approach of doing business by leveraging investments in publicly funded researchers, research centres, and Provincial and Territorial leveraging programs to better mobilize clean technologies.

Provincial and Territorial (P/T) engagement is central to the CGP. The program is intended to enhance coordination and leverage clean technology investments to more effectively help Canada to meet its climate change goals, create economic opportunities, and expand global-market opportunities. Given the importance placed on collaboration in the CGP, support from Provinces/Territories will be central in successful projects. P/T co-funding consists of financial and/or in-kind support. Further Details are provided in Appendix B.

2.2 Program Objectives and Scope

The program will advance emerging clean technologies toward commercial readiness so that natural resource operationsFootnote 1 can better reduce their impacts on air, land, and water, while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs. It is open to projects from the mining, energy and forestry sectors.

Clean technology is defined as any product, process or service designed with the primary purpose of contributing to remediating or preventing any type of environmental damage. It is also considered as a product, process or service that is less polluting or more resource-efficient than equivalent normal products that furnish a similar utility. Their primary use, however, is not one of environmental protection.

The CGP covers five focus areas intended to address pressing environmental challenges and economic opportunities facing Canada’s natural resource sectors:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas and air emissions from natural resource operations
  2. Minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management in natural resource operations
  3. The production and use of advanced materials and bioproducts in natural resource operations
  4. Efficient energy use and productivity in natural resource operations
  5. Reducing water use and impacts on aquatic ecosystems in natural resource operations

2.3 Expected Environmental and Economic Outcomes of Program

The projects funded by the program are expected to reduce the environmental impact of natural resource operations on air, land, and water, support the growth of Canada’s clean technology sector, and assist in sustaining Canadian resource industries as a source of jobs. Ideal projects will contribute to the program’s overall objectives as listed below:

  • A net increase in employment (800 direct and indirect jobs annually during the period of funding, excluding the ramp up year).
  • GHG emission reductions of 0.3 to 0.7 megatonnes per year by 2026*
  • Water use reduced by 100,000 m3 to 2,000,000 m3 per year by 2026*
  • Waste decreased by 20,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes per year by 2026*
  • RD&D projects move emerging technologies closer to commercial readiness

*Dependent on projects received, success of projects, and on-going operation capacity by 2026

Outcomes Tracking

Following a successful LOI and Full Proposal stage, successfully funded projects will be required to report on expected outcomes to ensure that targets and objectives are being met. Since outcomes may only be realized after funding has ended, provisions have been made for ongoing data collection and assessment for a period of five years following the project’s completion date.

2.4 Eligibility

With a focus on addressing pressing challenges and opportunities in the natural resources sectors the CGP is technology agnostic and will consider any LOIs that meet the program objectives and key eligibility criteria, as provided below.

Technology Readiness Level

The program will only support projects advancing pre-commercial technologies between technology readiness levels (TRL) 3 to 9. For TRL definitions, see Appendix D.

Funding Recipients

Eligible funding recipients may include:

1) Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including:

  • For profit and not for profit organizations such as electricity and gas utilities, electricity system operators, transmissions owners and operators, companies, industry associations, research associations, and standards organizations;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups;
  • Federal research centres;
  • Community groups; and
  • Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

2) Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies where applicable.

Science and Technology Acceleration Collaborative (STAC) Projects

STAC Projects refer to the participation of federal research centres  within CGP-funded projects led by industry, post-secondary institutions or other levels of government. One of the goals for the CGP is to increase access to federal research centres, their facilities and expertise and to better enable a successful outcome for the eligible external recipients of contribution funding. Therefore, projects with federal research centre participation will be eligible for this call. For more information on STAC projects, refer to Appendix C.

Provincial and Territorial (P/T) Support Requirement

Reflecting federal, provincial and territorial (F/P/T) discussions for stronger coordination and leveraging of clean technology investments, such as those under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, only projects that include financial or in-kind contributions from provinces or territories will be funded under CGP. See Appendix B for additional information.

Eligible Project Location

Technology solutions can originate from anywhere globally, but must be tested, piloted, demonstrated, and/or deployed in Canada.

General Terms and Conditions

CGP also adheres to more general terms and condition for all programs administered by the Office of Energy Research and Development.  Please refer to the General Guide and ensure you meet these criteria as well.

2.5 Funding Allocation

The total funding available under the Clean Growth in Natural Resource Sectors Program is $155.0M, and will be used to support clean technology research and development (R&D), and demonstration including up to first commercial installations. It is anticipated that the total funding will be allocated equally to the energy, mining and forestry sectors.

CGP consists of two separate funding streams:

  • R&D projects, from applied R&D to pilot projects
  • Demonstration projects, including up to first commercial installations

The split will be determined by focus areas, sector needs and projects selected.

Demonstration Projects and Front End Engineering Design (FEED) Studies

The Program may pay up to 50% of total project costs per FEED/Demonstration project. It is expected that good quality projects will request between five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) and five million dollars ($5,000,000), however, the program could provide a maximum amount of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) per project.

Research and Development Projects

The Program may pay up to 75% of total project costs per R&D project. It is expected that good quality projects will request between three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) and two million dollars ($2,000,000), however, the program could provide a maximum amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000) per project.

Please note, the CGP will provide non-repayable contributions for eligible R&D and FEED Studies project activities and conditionally repayable contributions for eligible demonstration project activities. Please see section 3.5.6 of the General Guide for more information.

3 Submission Details

3.1 Submission Process

The Department of Natural Resources (NRCan) is committed to a consistent, fair, and transparent project selection process in order to identify, select, and approve the allocation of funding to projects that best fit the program’s objectives.

For Phase 1, Letters of Interest (LOI) submission, applicants can find all information necessary to start preparing their LOIs in this guide.  The Program will be open for LOI submissions as of November 30th, 2017. Applicants may contact the program should they need further clarity on the expectations:

An applicant may withdraw its LOI at any stage of the evaluation process, by notification in writing via email. Applicants must submit an LOI to be eligible for submission of a full project proposal.

LOIs will be assessed based on the criteria provided in section 4, with only the most promising projects moving on to Phase 2 – Full Project Proposal (FPP). The program may request supplementary information at various points in the review process.

Those applicants that are invited to Phase 2, submission of FPP, will receive notification of the required templates and information to be completed. The applicant must provide all mandatory information in order to be considered for funding. Please note that a request for a full project proposal will not represent a funding commitment from the CGP.

Clean Growth Program Application Process
Clean Growth Program Application ProcessPhase 1 – Letter of InterestStep 1: Review of Applicants’ Guide
Step 2: Attend Information Webinar
Step 3: Prepare LOI details
Step 4: Establish Collaborations
Step 5: Submit LOI
Step 6: LOI Review
Step 7: LOI Selection
Step 8: Applicant Notification

Phase 2 – Full Project Proposal

Step 1: Invitation to Submit Proposal and release of Proposal Form
Step 2: Feedback Session
Step 3: Submit Proposal
Step 4: Proposal Review
Step 5: Project Selection

3.2 LOI Preparation

When preparing an LOI, applicants will be required to gather the following information:

  • Applicant Information – including primary contacts, mailing address, organization information
  • Project Information – Sector, focus area, project type, project details, letter of support, project timeline(s)
  • Budget & Partners – Total program amount requested, Federal research centre support, Provincial/Territorial collaboration, all anticipated financial and non-financial partners
  • Project Summary – Methodology, project team, alignment with scope, addressing a gap, innovativeness, uptake potential, environmental impact, economic and/or social impact

A detailed breakdown of the Assessment Criteria is provided in Section 4 of this guide.

3.3 Submission Timelines

The deadline for submission of LOIs in response to this Call is 12:00pm (NOON) EST on February 7, 2018. Late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to complete their submissions well in advance of the deadline. Furthermore, NRCan will not accept partial or incomplete submissions.

Applicants will receive an automatically-generated email confirming receipt of the LOI upon online submission.

Key milestones

Fall 2017 Call for Letters of Interest
Winter 2017/18 Invitations to submit full project proposals
Winter 2017/18 Feedback sessions with successful LOI applicants
Spring 2017/18 Submissions of full project proposals
Spring/Summer 2018 Project selections

*NRCan reserves the right to change the application process and deadlines at its sole discretion. Any changes to the process will be communicated to applicants via e-mail and necessary accommodations for the changes provided.

4 Evaluation Criteria

The LOI application will be assessed based on the following 8 criteria. While each criteria will be equally weighted in the evaluation process, considerations will also be given to regional diversity and sector distribution (Energy, Mining, and Forest). Moreover, consideration will also be given to projects which identify the participation of Indigenous groups or individuals to support increased economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities in the natural resource sectors.

Describe how the project will be carried out including a high-level description of the tasks and methodology.

(300 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Does the project have a well developed methodology?
  • Does it describe how the project will be carried out including a high-level description of the tasks and methodology?
  • Is the methodology set out logical and viable?
Detail the roles, capability and capacity of your organization and any collaborators to undertake the work over the duration of the project and provide continued support at completion.
(300 words)
When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Do the project manager, technical/scientific team, and partner organizations have the ability or capacity to deliver the project over the lifetime of the project?
  • Does the team have the required expertise to perform this project?
Provide a clear statement of how the project addresses the objective and the priorities of the scope.

(100 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Does the project align with the scope? (the program and the identified focus area)
Provide a clear statement of the technology and knowledge gap(s) that the project will address and explain how it/they will be addressed by this project.

(300 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Does the project address a significant gap, with rationale, which could potentially lead to further advancements, demonstrations or commercial deployment?
How is the proposed project innovative or novel? Provide context on similar projects already being undertaken in Canada and elsewhere, and describe how this project is different.

(300 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Is the project sufficiently novel/ innovative?
  • Will the project produce a clear advancement of the proposed technology?
What are the anticipated key products (e.g. knowledge kit, codes and standards, intellectual property, prototypes, business case or feasibility of a demonstrated technology), who are the anticipated receptors in Canada and abroad of the products, and what is the replicability or uptake potential of the project?

(300 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Should the project be successfully completed, are there clear opportunities for future uptake and replication within Canada?
Describe the potential environmental impact(s) should the project be successful.

(200 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Should the project be successfully completed, are their environmental impacts to be considered and do they address the overall environmental objectives of the program?
Describe the potential economic and social impact(s) should the project be successful. (e.g. reduced costs, new revenue streams, job creations, public confidence support etc.)

(200 words)

When answering this question, consider the following:

  • Are the proposed economic and/or social impacts of the project significant and do they address the economic goals of the program?
Appendix A – Focus Areas in Detail

Focus Area 1: Reducing Greenhouse Gas and Air Emissions from Natural Resource Operations


Clean technologies, systems and processes for natural resource operations that support effective and long-lasting reductions in greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and local air pollutants, such as sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, and fugitive dust emissions will be considered under this focus area.

From Here to There

2014 2026 2030
Approximately 290 megatonnes (Mt) or 40% of Canada’s GHG emissions resulted from natural resource operations. Projects funded under this focus area will contribute up to 0.7 Mt of direct GHG reductions and other air emissions per year* Natural resource operations lead industries in emissions reductions, driving Canada towards its target of 523 Mt[2], and establish new revenue streams through emissions capture and use.

*Assumes funded projects advance to ongoing, full capacity production by 2026 (five years following project completion, and the end of the reporting period)

Opportunities in the Natural Resource Sectors

Energy Sector

Emissions from energy production and electricity generation are substantial.  The oil and gas sector is Canada’s largest emitter of GHGs, with 70% of emissions due to combustion and approximately 30% from fugitive and vented emissions.  Advanced emission reduction solutions, low-emissions technologies, and clean energy systems are important to a competitive energy sector.

Mining Sector

Research is needed to support the integration and competitiveness of renewable and low-carbon sources of energy, and to displace diesel fuel in off-grid and remote locations. This includes large-scale energy storage and alternative fuels. The sector can reduce emissions associated with extraction and processing, including vehicle emissions and heat production.

Forestry Sector

Opportunities exist for the forestry sector as a provider of forest fibre derived solid, liquid, or gaseous bioenergy for the production of on-grid/off-grid electricity, heating, transportation fuel and other applications in natural resource operations.  The reduction of GHG emissions and local air pollutants within forestry operations is also a necessity.

Carbon capture, utilization & storage
New energy generation technology (ie. Geothermal and small-modular nuclear)
Cost-effective electrical storage
Novel fugitive dust control systems
Battery-powered or alternative-fuel vehicles
Low-emitting heat production and low-grade heat recovery systems
Low-emitting and bio-based electricity production
Advanced second generation bio fuels

Figure 1: Examples of clean technologies, systems and processes across natural resource sectors that could be considered under Focus Area 1.

Focus Area 2:  Minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management in Natural Resource Operations


Natural resource operations can have dramatic impacts on land use, local waste generation and sub-surface quality.

Clean technologies, systems and processes for natural resource operations that support effective and long-lasting reductions in landscape disturbances and improvements in waste management will be considered under this focus area.

From Here to There

Present 2026 Beyond
Natural resource operations can cause considerable landscape disturbances and create waste management challenges. Projects funded under this focus area will reduce impacts on land and divert waste by over 20,000 tonnes per year.* Natural resource operations are leaders in land management and waste reduction through operational efficiencies and the diversion of waste to high value applications and revenue streams.

*Assumes funded projects advance to ongoing, full capacity production by 2026 (five years following project completion, and the end of the reporting period)

Opportunities in the Natural Resource Sectors

Energy Sector

Across the energy industry, innovation opportunities exist to reduce landscape disturbances such as soil pollution and deforestation.  Advanced waste management and conversion practices would contribute to addressing this issue while also offering opportunities to generate economic value from waste streams.

Mining Sector

Approximately 200-250 million tonnes of tailings are generated in Canada each year, representing an environmental risk, including costs and challenges associated with long-term waste liabilities. Opportunities exist to reduce waste, reprocess tailings, rehabilitate waste sites, recover valuable minerals, and repurpose waste for industrial or commercial uses.

Forestry Sector

Improved land and waste management opportunities exist within several areas of the forestry sector, including logging, pulp and paper, and integrated biorefineries.  The conversion and use of waste feedstock, as well as land reclamation innovations, will be important for this focus area and are applicable to all three natural resource sectors.

Conversion of waste streams to produce fuels for heating, power, and transportation
High-efficiency waste treatment
Advanced ecosystems rehabilitation technologies and processes (ie. Bio-remediation)
Alternative binder technology (waste diversion)
Production and use of solid carbonates
Advanced precision, logistics and decision-making tools
Technologies for on-site management & conversion of waste streams
Technologies to extract high value products (minerals or chemicals) from waste
Second generation bio fuels

Figure 2: Examples of clean technologies, systems and processes across natural resource sectors that could be considered under Focus Area 2.

Focus Area 3: The Production and Use of Advanced Materials and Bioproducts in Natural Resource Operations


Clean technology companies require innovative materials to develop novel, highly functional and competitively priced technologies and processes for natural resource operations.  Research, development and demonstration of advanced materials and bioproducts for this purpose will be considered under this focus area.

From Here to There

Present 2026 Beyond
The rate of clean technology innovation and adoption in natural resource operations is insufficient for this sector to lead in the future global low-carbon economy. Projects funded under this focus area will lead to the development and use of novel clean technologies.* Competitively priced, high performing clean technologies are readily available and are in use within natural resource operations

*Assumes funded projects advance to ongoing, full capacity production by 2026 (five years following project completion, and the end of the reporting period)

Opportunities in the Natural Resource Sectors

Energy Sector

Advanced materials enable the use of low emitting and efficient energy systems.  As well, opportunities exist for materials that are resistant to extreme temperatures, pressures, and corrosion, are lightweight, improve energy storage and transfer, have novel thermal properties, and improve the capture of emissions.

Mining Sector

Advanced materials and bioproducts improve the productivity and performance of mining, milling and refining activities. Opportunities range from high-efficiency equipment with long-life to bioproducts which improve environmental performance and enhance remediation.  New materials enable development of products that improve the sector’s ability to recover, store and produce carbon-free energy, which all require critical minerals produced from mining.

Forestry Sector

Development and optimization of forest bioenergy and bioproducts systems require advanced materials for system components to withstand corrosive and high-temperature environments.  Biomaterials are also important in composites and next generation materials that have applications across multiple industry sectors.

Electrical storage components
High-strength and crack-resistant materials
Advancements in lightweighting
Next-generation anode development
Advanced materials for nuclear energy systems, such as for small modular reactors
Non-toxic, low cost materials for thermo-electric generators
Advanced thermal or electrical conductivity properties
Nano-materials and bio-based polymers
Silicon and organic based solar cells
Biocarbons and other bioproducts for industrial applications

Figure 3: Examples of clean technologies, systems and processes across natural resource sectors that could be considered under Focus Area 3.

Focus Area 4: Efficient Energy Use and Productivity in Natural Resource Operations


Energy use represents a significant cost for natural resource industries and is a major contributor to environmental impacts. Energy efficiency and optimization is a least-cost opportunity, and an effective means to reduce total energy consumption levels in natural resource operations, facilitate clean energy integration, while simultaneously reducing production costs and increasing competitiveness. Research, development and demonstration relative to efficient use of energy will be considered under this focus area.

From Here to There

Present 2026 Beyond
Energy inefficient natural resource operations are a source of significant environmental impacts and create additional costs for the sector. Projects funded under this focus area will enable development and use of high-efficiency technologies, services, and processes.* Natural resource operations are energy efficient and more competitive as Canada progresses towards a low-carbon economy.

*Assumes funded projects advance to ongoing, full capacity production by 2026 (five years following project completion, and the end of the reporting period)

Opportunities in the Natural Resource Sectors

Energy Sector

Innovations to lower the energy intensity of processes will greatly contribute to reductions in environmental impact and operational costs. Combustion processes contribute about 70% of the emissions in oil and gas operations, alone, resulting primarily from stationary equipment in production, upgrading, refining and distribution.

Mining Sector

Electrification, digitization and automation can provide efficiency gains through continuous operation, improved productivity, and lower equipment and infrastructure costs. Comminution (crushing and grinding) can account for over half of all electricity consumed at mine sites.  Efficiency improvements enhance competiveness, improve the management of complex ores, expand potential resources, reduce GHG emissions, and increase energy security.

Forestry Sector

The forestry sector is energy intensive to varying degrees across its sub-sectors. Energy efficiency, energy systems optimization and fuel switching within the forestry can contribute to an overall reduction in emissions intensity, and opportunities for innovation exist in all forestry operations, from harvesting to manufacturing.

Introduction of advanced automation techniques and digital technologies
Development of bioproducts and bioenergy
Reducing Energy Intensity of Industrial Equipment
Demonstrations, or commercial applications of process improvements for manufacturing
Energy conversion and recovery technologies
Advanced precision, logistics and decision-making tools
Efficient mineral development processes
High-efficient ventilation on demand technologies
Advanced continuous mining systems
Electrification and automation of mine sites

Figure 4: Examples of clean technologies, systems and processes across natural resource sectors that could be considered under Focus Area 4.

Focus Area 5: Reducing Water Use and Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems in Natural Resource Operations


Natural resource operations can be water-intensive and impact aquatic ecosystems through water pollution, habitat destruction, and changing hydrological patterns. Clean technologies, systems and processes that reduce water use and contribute to the preservation of aquatic ecosystems will be considered under this focus area.

From Here to There

Present 2026 Beyond
Natural resource operations are water-intensive and impact aquatic ecosystems, culminating in public confidence challenges. Projects funded under this focus area will reduce water use by over 100,000 m3 per year.* Water consumption is minimized in natural resource operations, lowering operating costs, improving effluent treatment and reducing impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

*Assumes funded projects advance to ongoing, full capacity production by 2026 (five years following project completion, and the end of the reporting period)

Opportunities in the Natural Resource Sectors

Energy Sector

Reduction of water use is needed in the production and extraction of energy resources, whether it is related to energy crops or fossil fuel operations.  Further mitigating aquatic ecosystem impacts due to water consumption, marine energy, hydro power generation, and oil and gas operations is also an important objective.

Mining Sector

Mineral extraction is water-intensive and improving use efficiency, reuse and recycling can eliminate the release of harmful pollutants into aquatic ecosystems. RD&D is needed to minimize the sector’s water footprint which can minimize the risks associated with waste production. New ore production technologies can help the sector achieve ‘minimum liquid discharge’ to improve public confidence and reduce the liabilities associated with waste disposal.

Forestry Sector

The forestry sector is among the largest industrial water users in Canada, with pulp and paper manufacturing operations significant consumers. Water intensity and effluent treatment in this sector are intertwined, and innovations focused on these areas will contribute to mitigating impacts on aquatic ecosystems.

Precision, data and logistic systems to reduce water consumption
Advanced knowledge and mitigation strategies for marine and hydro power operations
Technologies and techniques for reduced water use in resource extraction
Reuse, recycling and pollutant separation technologies
Innovative primary and biological treatment systems
Advanced techniques for watershed processes and shoreline harvesting
High-efficient and sustainable effluent treatment technologies
Improved drainage and leaching prevention technologies
Nanotechnologies for tailings management

Figure 5: Examples of clean technologies, systems and processes across natural resource sectors that could be considered under Focus Area 5.

Appendix B – Provincial and Territorial Co-Funding

One of the key features of the Clean Growth Program is its requirement to co-fund clean technology projects with provinces and territories (P/Ts). Applicants are not required to have secured P/T co-funding at the LOI stage; however, in order to be eligible for funding under the CGP, applicants must have secured P/T co-funding by the time of proposal submission. Please note, there is no minimum amount of funding or leverage required with regards to P/T support.

Co-funding consists of financial or in-kind support from provinces and/or territories. Financial support can be in the form of a grant, contribution, concessional loan, or other forms of financing.  In-kind support refers to payment or contribution in goods or services, rather than cash.  Examples of in-kind support include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to proprietary databases, software, or intellectual property
  • Technical expertise and other services (e.g., environmental assessments, studies, or training)
  • Loan or donation of equipment and materials
  • Use of facilities and assets (e.g., equipment, land, or resources)

Applicants can seek out co-funding opportunities through funding programs and P/T funded organizations and individuals. For example, a project proposal that includes a P/T funded research organization or individual (e.g., research chairs) as a project collaborator meets the requirement of P/T co-funding under the CGP.

To note, applicants will have the opportunity to consent for NRCan to share their LOI with other funding entities within the various levels of government and the not-for-profit sector.

Appendix C – Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Projects

What are they?

STAC projects are lead by an Eligible External Recipient, but also include a federal research partner. A STAC project’s activities would be executed by the external recipient and those of the federal researcher are to be identified separately in the statement of work and budget tables, but are expected to be mutually beneficial to the results of the project. Essentially, NRCan is supporting the clean technology project by stacking contribution funds with in-kind science and technology services to better enable a successful outcome for the clean technology firm, and Canadians more broadly.

STAC projects are a means by which the federal government can further support Canada’s clean technology sector.  This sector is characterized by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which typically face capacity gaps impeding their ability to advance their technologies and services to market, such as a lack of technical expertise, research infrastructure, and cash flow.  STACs help to address these gaps by allowing recipients of contribution funding to also access the substantial and unique science and technology resources that exist at federal research centres.

Accessing Support from Federal Research Centres

Eligible External Recipients can contact federal research centres directly to determine the contribution that the research centres’ can make toward addressing the capacity gap faced by the Recipient. Information pertaining to the contribution of the federal research centre must be clearly outlined within the Recipient’s LOI.

The Program may allocate up to nine million dollars ($9,000,000) of operational funding for the in-kind contributions of federal research centres to STAC projects.

Eligible federal research centres include, but are not limited to:

Anticipated funding process for STAC Projects

Funding allocated to external recipients under this project type will be delivered through the successful negotiation of a contribution agreement. Any funding requested for federal research centres under this component will be delivered directly to the federal research centre through operational funding. Any funding toward the research centre will count as an in-kind contribution to the external recipient’s contribution agreement.

The external recipient will be responsible for collecting data from the federal research centre and reporting back to NRCan on the results of the project. It is also the external recipient’s sole responsibility to ensure that the proper agreements have been reached with the research centre to ensure that they meet the terms and conditions.

Note: These mechanisms are still under design and this portion of the program is subject to change.

Appendix D – Technology Readiness levels

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies (devices, materials, components, software, work processes, etc.) during its development and in some cases during early operations. Generally speaking, when a new technology is first invented or conceptualized, it is not suitable for immediate application. Instead, new technologies are usually subjected to experimentation, refinement, and increasingly realistic testing. Once the technology is sufficiently proven, it can be incorporated into a system/subsystem.Footnote2

The lowest level, TRL 1, indicates that information already learned from basic scientific research is taking its first step from an idea to a practical application of a lesson learned. For example, after learning that hydrogen and oxygen can be combined to generate electricity, some would suggest an idea for building a machine to do just that.

A technology that has achieved TRL 9 is one that has been incorporated fully into a larger system. It has been proven to work smoothly and is considered operational. An example of an operational TRL 9 technology is the fuel cells which combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity for NASA’s space shuttle.Footnote3

Technology Readiness Level Descriptions:

  1. R&D not specifically intended for technology development (but could be in support of technology adoption). Examples are knowledge generation to support codes, regulations and standards needed to support domestic adoption and to support Canada’s position in opposing non-tariff export barriers. Also includes Basic Research conducted prior to Applied Research.
  2. Early-stage scientific research begins the translation to applied R&D – lowest level of technology readiness. Basic scientific research begins to be translated into preparatory applied research and development. Examples include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties, algorithms and mathematical formulations.
  3. Technology development begins – once basic principles are observed, development of practical and specific applications can be initiated. Applications are speculative and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions. Examples are limited to analytic studies, including concept development.
  4. Active R&D is initiated – active research and development is initiated to establish proof of concept, including analytical and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology, i.e., individual components that are not yet integrated into the technology.
  5. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together, i.e. initial operational characterisation of technology. Standalone component prototypes implemented and tested.
  6. System / subsystem prototypes are improved significantly – the basic technological components / prototypes are integrated within a reasonably realistic supporting environment so that the technology concept can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include bench-scale laboratory integration of components and observation of operating characteristics.
  7. Model/prototype is tested in relevant environment – representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant test environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype at the pilot scale, integrated with existing systems, if applicable, in a laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. Engineering feasibility demonstrated.
  8. Prototype near or at planned operational system – represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring demonstration of an actual system prototype in the intended operational environment. Examples include field testing or field trials over a period sufficient to provide meaningful data on the performance of the technology.
  9. Technology is proven to work in a “real world” operating environment – actual technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration. This includes projects currently at the demonstration project stage.
  10. System proven though successful demonstration. Actual application of technology is in its final form – commercialisation-ready technology proven through successful operations.
Appendix E – Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Reductions

This section guides applicants in forecasting direct and indirect lifecycle GHG reductions attributable to their project.

NRCan programs may request any or all of the following forecast figures, with programs specifically targeting significant GHG reductions generally requesting more information than those programs aimed at earlier stage RD&D or technology development:

  • Direct Canadian GHG reductions by the project’s completion (cumulative)
  • Indirect Canadian GHG reductions by the project’s completion (cumulative)
  • Direct Canadian GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050;
  • Indirect Canadian GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050;
  • Direct International GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050; and
  • Indirect International GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050.

When requested during the EOI, proposal, or during project negotiation, applicants and proponents should consider the following in their estimations:

Reduction Types

Direct Canadian reductions:

Estimate the lifecycle GHG reductions in Canada that directly stem from the funded project.

  • As defined, this would apply to demonstration projects only where an emitting technology or process is being replaced by a non-emitting (funded) alternative.
  • Do not include direct reductions that occur outside of Canada.

Indirect Canadian Reductions:

Lifecycle GHG reductions occurring due to replication of the funded technology in a Canadian context that are incremental to a counterfactual trend of technology adoption that would occur without funding the project.

Indirect Canadian Reductions (Eligibility):
  • Include replications of the demonstrated technology undertaken by the same funded entity in other areas of its organization but not funded by NRCan’s Innovation programs.
  • Include replications of the technology in Canada by other organizations whose decision to invest in the technology was attributable to the impacts of the funded project on the market (driving down costs, informing codes and standards, de-risking etc.) and are thus incremental to replications occurring for other reasons (market trends, other policy)
  • Some R&D projects could also be eligible to claim indirect reductions if they enable otherwise overlooked Canadian reductions to occur. E.g. Better methane sensors in the oil and gas sector to identify cost-effective mitigation measures.
  • Other demonstrations which may be eligible for indirect reductions, but likely not direct reductions, are demonstrations of enabling infrastructure that enhances the competitiveness of a low-GHG alternative e.g. smart grid, EV charging infrastructure
  • Does not include incremental replications occurring outside of Canada. However, these reductions may be stated separately as international indirect reductions.

Indirect International Reductions (where applicable):

lifecycle GHG reductions from replication of the funded technology outside of Canada that are incremental to a counterfactual trend of technology adoption that would occur without funding the project.

Suggested calculation methods

Direct reductions:

Compare the lifecycle emission reductions achieved when switching from the prevailing industry standard (a baseline technology) to a technology being funding in the project. Can use spreadsheet calculations or, to enhance the analysis, use a lifecycle GHG calculator such as the “Smart Lite” tool.

Indirect reductions:

Obtain a baseline trend of technology adoption (from industry forecasts or forecasts made by other forecasting/statistical agencies). Make a case that the funded projects increases adoption beyond the baseline by a certain % (suggested values 1% – 5% depending on market conditions. Justification of the value chosen is necessary). Another approach would be to attribute a certain fraction of forecasted adoption under a given policy suite to your project. i.e. If a forecast included RD&D policies, can claim a certain fraction of the forecasted adoptions to be “attributable” to your project (suggested attribution values 5%-50% depending on the suite of policies in the forecast- 5% if a strong policy package combining regulations, carbon pricing, RD&D and values exceeding 5% if fewer policies).








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