The federal government pledged Monday to invest in clean technology, announcing $785,000 for Alacrity Canada, a Victoria non-profit that promotes entrepreneurial efforts in the field of technology.
Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Tourism was joined by B.C. Finance Minister Carole James at the Alacrity Foundation to express support for generating jobs and growth across Western Canada.
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“As the economy changes, as innovation transforms traditional sectors and creates new industries that we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago, there remains an important role for government,” Chagger said. “We must work together to make key investments so that our workers have the skills they need to excel in the modern economy.”
In B.C., the industry is thriving. There are over 270 clean tech companies within the province that account for 25 per cent of the country’s clean tech sector, generating over $2.8 billion in annual revenue.
Many of these companies are market ready but require additional support before moving to the next level of success, Chagger said. With Alacrity, they will develop investment strategies to increase sales and create more middle class jobs across B.C.
Since 2009, the Alacrity Foundation in Victoria and Vancouver has employed more than 200 people through mentorship, bringing together passionate entrepreneurs and investors to build thriving companies.
James announced that the province will provide $75,000 to help launch the program. “B.C.’s clean tech presence isn’t only good for the economy, it’s also an investment in our future,” she said.
“These companies are reducing harmful environmental and health impacts while revolutionizing our mining, our forestry and our agriculture industries,” James added, citing Saltworks, a water technology company and Carmanah, a solar lighting manufacturer.
There is much opportunity for this sector to expand, she said, pointing out the industry is poised to grow by $3 trillion by 2020.