Pond Technologies Ltd. has leveraged $40M in NRC-IRAP research grants to help manufacturers become more energy efficient and combat climate change. The investment has allowed the company to develop and refine its latest cleantech innovation, which captures CO2 emissions and recycles them into plant-based materials.

The contribution has been provided through the NRC-IRAP Midsize Projects program, which supports large-scale research and development projects. The program can potentially provide up to $50% of eligible expenses to a typical financial reimbursement of $80,000-$500,000 in research grants per year. Funding can be used to offset labour expenses and third-party Canadian sub-contractor costs that are directly related to the project.

If successful, the technology will provide enough energy to replace the use of fossil in industrial processes and transportation systems. It will also provide a cost-effective way for heavy industries to become more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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$40M in NRC-IRAP Research Grants Support Cleantech Project

Pond Technologies Ltd. was established in 2007 in Markham, Ontario and operates with a small workforce of just 14 employees. The company has discovered a way to capture harmful emissions from industrial smokestacks and convert them into energy sources that can be used to grow algae. Afterwards, the algae can be implanted into industrial smokestacks to absorb harmful CO2, nitrogen, and oxide emissions.

To date, the company has leveraged $40M in NRC-IRAP research grants to support the development of clean technologies that use algae to reduce heavy industry CO2 emissions. Funding is being used to support R&D efforts at Pond’s algal biorefinery, Algal Carbon Conversion (ACC), at a cement plant in St. Marys, Ontario.

By using photosynthesis, the company will extract the CO2 emissions collected by the algae to cultivate new plant-material and energy sources to replace the use of fossil fuels. In addition to the many benefits this technology will provide to manufacturers, algae can be used in other valuable ways, such as:

  • Converting emissions that can be further refined into biomass, biofuels and bioplastics;
  • Create high-value food additives such as astaxanthin, chlorella, and spirulina;
  • An organic peat moss for soil amendment in oil sands; and
  • An ingredient in animal-feed.

“We can put an algae plant on all of those [smoke stacks] and keep all this industry going. We can keep all these people employed. We can make all these products here.”
Steve Martin, CEO, Pond Technologies Ltd.

NRC-IRAP Research and Development Grants

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) supports innovative technology development projects. NRC-IRAP funding helps businesses enhance processes and products and boost market competitiveness. Innovative Canadian companies can access research grants through the organization’s funding streams, which include IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) and IRAP Mid-Size Projects.

NRC-IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP)

The IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) program supports innovative R&D projects that help businesses solve internal technical challenges. Manufacturers can leverage Canadian government funding to accelerate projects that support product and/or process improvements. Research grants support exploratory R&D projects that improve market competitiveness, facilitate business growth, and improve the project’s return-on-investment (ROI).

The program can potentially provide up to 50-80% financial reimbursement to offset internal labour and/or third-party Canadian consulting costs to a maximum $50,000 in research grants.

NRC-IRAP Mid-Size Projects

IRAP Mid-Size Projects supports large-scale research projects that develop or enhance innovative products, processes, or services that are commercially viable. The program supports innovative projects must address a current market gap. Applicant may be eligible to receive IRAP funding to offset technical labour expenses and consulting fees related to the project.

The program can potentially provide up to 50-80% financial reimbursement to offset internal project labour and Canadian third-party consulting fees to a maximum $80,000–$500,000 per year in research grants.

This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.