China questions Canadian cleantech companies should consider

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As Kachan & Co. has recently published, cleantech is seeing a comeback on more market-driven terms and signs of renewed investor interest. “Pick and shovel” products (e.g. efficient lighting, low cost renewable energy generation, power data and management software) are quietly becoming entrenched across the globe. Cities and large industrial players are increasingly partnering with cleantech firms to expedite their own innovation goals and at the same time helping SMEs bridge financing gaps, gain domain knowledge, speed industrial pilot projects, and leverage scales of production and established distribution channels into markets.
Like their counterparts across the globe, quality Canadian cleantech start-ups and SMEs that have survived the tough years did so by learning to deliver more practical benefits to specific sets of customers, embracing less capital intensive business and financing models, and adopting more professional management and marketing principles.
Matching Canadian Cleantech Innovation with China’s strengths
More and more of these successful, or at least surviving, cleantech firms are investigating China to leverage any number of inviting incentives from local authorities, companies and industrial zones—investment capital, low-cost financing, regulatory and tax support, and extensive industrial infrastructure and supply chains—that help speed technology development, testing and production.
Marc MacArthur, CEO of Crosstaff, an Ottawa-based sustainable technology advisory and project development firm, judges Canada is doing an excellent job encouraging cleantech innovation through research and early-stage technology development. According to MacArthur, “Canada currently leads the G7 in post-secondary research investment. Programs like the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit (SRED), the $1B Sustainable Development Technology Canada fund (SDTC), Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Climate Change and Emissions management Corporation (CCEMC) and the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) to name a few have been tremendously helpful to sustainable technology companies and are regarded as models to emulate in other markets”.
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