When a federal objective is at the heart of the mandate of several government departments, it requires deliberate and focused interdepartmental coordination to optimize federal efforts.
In 2016, several stakeholder consultations called for additional federal funding to support clean technology innovation and adoption in Canada, and to provide additional assistance in accessing support. Clean technology was seen as a means to achieve climate and sustainability goals, create jobs, grow and diversify our economy, accelerate science and innovation, and transition to a clean growth economy. The Government responded by outlining $2.3 billion in funding to support clean technology innovators and adopters, and created the Clean Growth Hub to help clean technology proponents navigate the enhanced federal system of funding and services.
The Clean Growth Hub formally launched in January of 2018 as a whole-of-government focal point for clean technology. It has three core functions:
- Helping clean technology innovators and adopters navigate the federal system of funding and services;
- Enhancing federal clean technology program coordination; and
- Strengthening the federal capacity to track and report on clean technology outcomes.
"It is incredibly interesting to work with people who come from various different departmental cultures and interests and see the impact a common purpose can have.”
- Mackenzie Larwill
What makes the Hub an agile, well-equipped and inclusive place to work is that it is a new service model where 16 different federal departments and agencies with policies or programs that support clean technology sit together to advance clean technology objectives, but remain employees of their home departments and agencies. Organizations have demonstrated their commitment to the Hub concept by providing access to policy, program, scientific and regulatory expertise through the respective Hub team members. Further, partner departments see the value in this innovative approach and several have sponsored an employee to join the Hub at their own expense. Doing so enables the Hub to leverage existing knowledge, expertise and working relationships while providing an easy, single point of contact for clean technology users and producers.
The Clean Growth Hub's team of experts provides advice and connections regarding regulatory, standards, government procurement, and skills and training matters; and helps connect companies to international markets. It also facilitates connections and behind-the-scenes coordination between programs. This no-wrong-door approach is streamlining services for project proponents and access to government knowledge and expertise, and is improving information sharing between departments to better support clean technology outcomes for the Government of Canada. In its first six months the Hub served over 500 clients, it also helped applicants that were unsuccessful in the programs to which they applied find other opportunities within the government. These efforts have earned praise from Canadian clean tech entrepreneurs like Hamid Arabzadeh of Ranovus who said: “I commend what the current government is doing for innovation and the amazing people around the table that make it real”.