Nova Scotia researchers and early stage businesses will be able to access new funding to move their smart energy innovations closer to commercialization.

The Department of Energy and Innovacorp have teamed up to award $700,000 on a competitive basis through the new Smart Energy Innovation Program. The program will support local developers who are working on sustainable energy solutions for Nova Scotia.

"Innovation is essential to energy sustainability and economic success," said Energy Minister Michel Samson. "By supporting local innovators, we can help Nova Scotians build on their tremendous achievements in renewables and energy efficiency, make energy more affordable, and ensure Nova Scotia businesses get a bigger piece of this multi-billion dollar global market."

The program has three streams:

  • two university or college researchers will be awarded $50,000 each to help move smart energy projects from research to commercial application
  • five early stage companies will receive $20,000 each to develop technology for the energy sector
  • a demonstration project will be awarded $500,000 to address renewable energy integration into the electricity grid

"The primary challenge with most innovation is not invention, it is with adoption. Properly addressing this core issue is fundamental to building a healthy, smart energy ecosystem," said Ron Dizy, managing director of the Advance Energy Centre at MaRS, a leading technology and business accelerator based in Toronto. "This type of targeted government support for early stage companies is a crucial element in building a smart energy innovation ecosystem."

Projects considered can address any aspect of smart energy, including, low carbon power generation, smart grids, energy storage, and ways to make better use of our existing renewable energy resources.

"The funding we received from Innovacorp between 2014 and 2016 bridged many gaps to help turn our laboratory research into a patent-pending chemical heat storage cell, soon to be integrated into the world's most accessible compact electric thermal storage room heater," said Louis Desgrosseilliers, a Dalhousie graduate and co-founder of NeoThermal Energy Storage Inc., a Nova Scotia smart energy start-up. "There are many local researchers like me with big ideas in this field and I believe with a little support they can compete on the world stage."

The Smart Energy Innovation Program is part of the province's Electricity Plan, which calls for more energy innovation.

Those interested in applying to the programs can visit the Innovacorp website or contact Amanda Tarr for more information.

For more information, please contact:

Marla MacInnis
Department of Energy

Dawn House
902.424.8670 ext. 1189

Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 19, 2016