Call to Action: ACOA’s Clean Technology Initiative

Applications for ACOA’s Clean Technology Initiative should be submitted on or before March 31, 2017 Jenny Keleher November 17, 2016

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The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has issued a Call to Action inviting Atlantic Canadian companies, communities and non-profit organizations to develop proposals for projects that promote clean growth through clean technology. The Agency has earmarked $20 million for clean technology projects in 2016-17. Applications should be submitted on or before March 31, 2017.

Clean growth refers to investments and activities that foster the development of a clean economy. Clean technology refers to products, processes and services that improve on environmental performance in support of sustainable development and clean growth.

In addition to creating jobs, developing and marketing clean technology products and services may help companies develop new markets and provide a competitive edge, as this emerging industry expands.

And companies adopting clean technology processes for their own operations, may lower costs, enhance efficiencies and increase output, all of which improves competitiveness.

Communities and non-profits looking to become more eco-friendly can also apply for funding for projects that adopt or adapt clean technologies for their facilities.
To be eligible, projects need to demonstrate improved environmental performance relative to standard or most commonplace technology.

This initiative is offered through ACOA’s existing programs and projects must meet existing eligibility criteria.

As part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a federal-provincial initiative announced July 2016, the Government of Canada and the governments of the four Atlantic Provinces are committed to taking action to promote clean growth, create jobs and drive innovation in the transition to a low-carbon economy. This call to action builds on that commitment.

Objectives of ACOA’s Clean Technology Initiative

  • To encourage Atlantic Canadian businesses, communities and non-profit organizations to access ACOA programs to develop clean technology products, services or processes;
  • To help companies adapt and adopt clean technology that make their work processes more efficient and less costly;
  • To help communities and non-profit organizations become more eco-friendly through the adoption or adaptation of clean technologies in community facilities;
  • To help non-profit organizations such as institutions of higher learning conduct research and development on clean technology products, services and processes;
  • To promote clean growth as a way to grow the economy of Atlantic Canada; and
  • To diversify the region’s economy, open up new markets and generate good jobs for Atlantic Canadians.


To learn more about how ACOA can help your business, community or non-profit organizations, contact your regional ACOA office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is clean growth and clean technology?

A1. Clean growth refers to growing the economy in a sustainable way. Clean technology provides the tools to achieve clean growth such as products, processes or services that improve on environmental performance.

Q2. What are the benefits of clean tech for businesses or entrepreneurs?

A2. Supporting clean technology makes good business sense. There is an increasing global demand for environmentally-sustainable businesses and practices and supporting clean tech may expand markets and provide an advantage for your business. Also, adapting or adopting clean tech processes as part of your operations could lead to lower costs, enhanced efficiency and increased outputs, all of which is good for your bottom line.

Q3. How much money will ACOA spend on clean tech projects?

A3. The Agency has earmarked $20 million for its clean tech initiative.

Q4. You say that you’ve earmarked $20 million for clean tech projects. Would you consider spending more than that amount if applications exceed the allocated funding amount?

A4. Yes, ACOA is prepared to invest more than $20 million in clean technology projects in 2016-17.

Q5. How will a business, community or non-profit organization apply for funding for clean tech projects?

A5. Businesses, communities or non-profit organizations that have a clean technology project idea should contact the ACOA office nearest them. An Agency representative will discuss their project with them and guide them through the application process.

Q6. Why would ACOA have a call-for-proposals type process for this initiative? Doesn’t ACOA consider projects on a continual basis?

A6. ACOA has opted to engage with both current and potential clients by issuing a Call to Action as a way to alert them to the clean tech initiative and encourage them to develop and submit clean tech projects for funding consideration.

Q7. What if I miss the deadline? Will ACOA consider clean tech projects after the “Call to Action” period is over?

A7. Yes. ACOA will consider clean tech projects that are submitted outside of the “Call to Action” submission period. However, the Agency is encouraging potential clients to develop clean tech projects through this call to action at a time when clean tech initiatives are top of mind at the Agency.

Q8. What types of projects will ACOA consider assisting?

A8. ACOA will consider assisting various types of projects, including those proposed by:

  • businesses in the clean technology sector that wish to start up or expand through the development or upgrade of newer, cleaner technologies;
  • organizations from other sectors looking to develop, adapt or adopt products, services or processes that promote clean growth;
  • organizations that wish to implement more clean processes; and
  • communities and non-profit organizations looking to become more eco-friendly through the adoption or adaptation of clean technologies in their facilities.

To be eligible, projects need to demonstrate improved environmental performance relative to standard or most commonplace technology.

Q9. What do you mean by implementing more clean processes?

A9. A company, community or non-profit organization that wishes to implement more clean processes may develop, adapt or adopt clean technologies that will make their operations cleaner and more eco-friendly. Examples include:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions by switching to renewable or alternative energy resources;
  • becoming more energy efficient;
  • diverting items from the waste stream;
  • reducing economic and environmental impact on land, water, or air;
  • implementing green construction methods; and
  • adopting greener systems.

Q10. Does that mean ACOA will be providing funding to companies looking to install more efficient heating systems or insulation in their buildings?

A10. Projects must always meet ACOA funding criteria. Clean technology projects will be expected to adopt or adapt clean technology, and must demonstrate improved environmental performance relative to standard or most commonplace technology.

Q11. How will clean technology projects be cost shared?

A11. The level of funding will vary based on the program being used and specifics of the project.

Q12. I am an entrepreneur and I have a great project that did not get financed. I am frustrated because it may have gotten financed if not for this priority on clean technology. What can you do for me?

A12. Any project that ACOA considers for investment must meet certain criteria — criteria that may change over time according to current priorities of the Government of Canada, and what is determined as the best course of action for the continued growth of Atlantic Canadian economy.

If a project does not meet current ACOA guidelines for funding, we encourage to you refer to the “business grants and financing” page on the Government of Canada’s website for alternative funding options that may be a better fit.

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