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Capitalizing on clean technology

Western Canada is taking the lead in the race to capitalize on clean technology, according to a new report on the industry in Canada. Not only are B.C. and the Prairies shedding their historic reliance on raw materials, but they are home to a disproportionately large share of firms developing or commercializing products and services that “reduce or eliminate environmental impacts.”

The authors of the 2010 SDTC Cleantech Growth & Go-to-Market Report surveyed more than 400 Canadian firms. Among their findings was a convergence among the regions toward a stronger clean-tech sector. The West, in particular, is having no trouble matching national trends.

“There are more similarities than differences in terms of the makeup of the technology companies across the country, with the main take away being that companies grow faster if they shift their spending from R&D to sales and marketing when their product is ready for customers. We have to know when to stop polishing the technology and when to dig into the market and sell,” said co-author Celine Bak of the Russell Mitchell Group, which produced the report in collaboration with Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement.

Not only is each region embracing similar technologies, such as biofuels and clean-energy generation, but the relative contribution of each technology to the sector is quite similar across the country.

Where the regions did diverge, the West appears to be on the cutting-edge. In B.C., for example, there are at least 95 clean-tech companies, far more than would be expected based on the province’s share of the national gross domestic product. Indeed, the two regions with the highest share of clean-tech companies compared with share of national GDP were B.C. and the Prairies.

Bak stated that the report is one of the first to provide a detailed picture of Canada’s industry. “From the research, it is clear that the industry has what it takes to make an important contribution to the West’s strategic energy, water, and greenhouse gas management plans,” she said.

Encouraging better information sharing on the nature and performance of the industry is a key aim of the project. The report is available online at http://www.cleantechnologyreport2010.ca/. A database of the companies that formed the basis for the report is at: www.cleantechnologyreport2010.ca/database.


Western Canada’s Aerospace Sector Soars at the Farnborough International Air Show

Minister Yelich at the Farnborough International Air Show this summer.

Minister Yelich at the Farnborough International Air Show this summer.

Supporting Western Canada’s aerospace and defense sector was the focus of Minister Yelich’s attendance at the 2010 Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom – the largest aerospace event of the year.

Over three days, the Minister played a direct role in advocating on behalf of western Canadian industry. She participated in key meetings with senior officials from global aerospace and defence companies that have significant Industrial and Regional Benefit (IRB) obligations in Canada, representing business opportunities for the western Canadian aerospace and defence industry.

Minister Yelich also promoted the strength and success of western Canadian companies by joining Viking Air and Avcorp in two important announcements that will benefit the West. The world-class Air Show attracted more than 120,000 trade visitors, with representation from 40 countries, and provided a great venue to promote Western Canada’s competitive edge in the aerospace industry.

Western Canada’s aerospace industry employs approximately 15,000 people, generates $4 billion in annual revenues, and takes part in a wide range of both civil and defense aerospace activities. Strategic events like Farnborough are helping to ensure that western Canadian firms are well-positioned to compete for IRBs and global aerospace opportunities by showcasing their strengths on an international stage.