Frequently asked questions: Clean Growth Program

Find a collection of frequently asked questions on the Clean Growth Program, including those asked during the program webinars.

Contact the Clean Growth Program administration if you still have questions or require further clarification on the topics listed below.

Provincial and territorial collaboration and contributions

What types of organizations qualify as provincial and territorial co-funders?

What is a provincial or territorial organization?

Provincial or territorial organization includes, but is not limited:

  • Provincial or Territorial Government departments;
  • Crown corporation
  • Arms-length organizations who receive funding directly from the provincial or territorial government (e.g., Alberta Innovates, Emissions Reduction Alberta, BC Innovation Council (BCIC), etc.)
What is not a provincial or territorial funder?

The following are not provincial or territorial funders:

  • Federally funded organizations (e.g, NSERC, Regional Development Agencies (e.g., ACOA, WD, FedNor), National Research Council (NRC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI));
  • Municipal government
  • Post-Secondary Institutes
  • Independent companies located in a province who wish to support or partner on projects
Are First Nations considered a territorial or provincial co-funder?

No. However, we encourage the inclusion of Indigenous groups in project development and will consider meaningful indigenous involvement as an asset during project selection.

Does the involvement of post secondary institutions satisfy the provincial or territorial support requirement?

No. However, the involvement of a recipient of a provincially or territorially funded research grant or a provincial or territorial research chair would qualify.

What documentation is required as proof of support from a Province or Territory?

For the Letter of Interest (LOI) submission, identify which province or territory you have reached out to and what support you are seeking.

  • For the Full Project Proposal submission, Proof of conditional or confirmed support includes:
  • Letter of support
  • Proof of grant;
  • Other awarded funding by a provincial and territorial funded organization;
  • Direct confirmation from the provincial or territorial funder to the Clean Growth Program.

To ensure Applicants who may be in an active provincial and territorial funding process can provide a provincial and territorial contact to allow the Clean Growth Program to follow-up with the province or territory to confirm intentions.

Would an applicant with a partner on the project who has received provincial or territorial support satisfy the Provincial or Territorial support requirement?

Yes, as long as the funding from both sources is going towards components of the same project. The provincial or territorial contribution must be accounted for in the overall project cost to satisfy the programs requirement. The main recipient of CGP funding does not have to be the main recipient of Provincial or Territorial funding as long as the two recipients are partnering on complimentary aspects of a larger project.

Amount and type of support required

Is there a minimum amount of provincial or territorial support required?

No minimum support is required, however, the level of support should meaningfully contribute to the project as it will be assessed during the review process and taken under consideration for final project selection.

Is there a limit on provincial or territorial support to projects?

There is no limit on how many provinces or territories provide support to the projects.

Can projects that take place in one province be supported by another province?

Yes.

Timeline for support

Does provincial or territorial funding have to be provided over the full three years of the Clean Growth Program?

No. We understand that the Clean Growth Program funding timelines may not be aligned with the timelines of other programs. Your existing provincial and territorial funding that ends in the middle of the Clean Growth Program timeline would still be eligible for this program.

Can provincial or territorial funding begin before the NRCan funded project begins?

No.  Co-funding must occur within the clean growth project period (date of signing Contribution Agreement to March 31, 2021).

When does the provincial or territorial funding need to be secured?

Funding for the project needs to be secured prior to signing of a Contribution Agreement and flowing of funds to the project. If the project is conditionally selected by the Clean Growth Program, but no longer has provincial and territorial support, then the Clean Growth Program would not be able to fund the project.

Eligibility

Eligible activities

Are related scientific activities, such as data collection to fill a knowledge gap, eligible for funding under the program?

No, the Clean Growth Program aims to advance emerging clean technologies towards commercial readiness so that Canadian natural resource operations can improve their environmental performance. As such, the program will only support projects that advance pre-commercial technologies between TRL levels 3-9.

Eligible recipients

Are Canadian subsidiaries of a US company eligible for funding?

Yes. If a firm has operations in Canada and it is legally incorporated in Canada it is eligible. Technological solutions can originate from anywhere globally; however, a significant portion of the project must take place within Canada.
Please review section 2.4 of the Applicant’s Guide for more details regarding eligible funding recipients.

Can both large enterprises and SMEs participate in the Clean Growth Program?

The Clean Growth Program does not target a specific firm size and large, medium and small enterprises are all encouraged to apply, or to collaborate with one another.

Funding (Limits, stacking)

Can projects stack funding from multiple government sources, if so, how much government funding can an individual project receive?

Yes, stack funding from multiple government sources is allowed.  Total federal government sources of funding to a single project from the Clean Growth Program may not exceed project costs of 50% for demonstration projects and 75% for R&D projects. Provincial funding does not count towards these limits.

If an applicant has applied for funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), would this prohibit participation in the Clean Growth Program?

No, this would not prohibit participation in the Clean Growth Program. However, if successful through both application processes, this funding would count towards the limit of total Canadian government assistance to the project.

How is the funding paid out to qualified projects?  Is CGP funding repayable?

Funding is provided to recipients via a contribution agreement based on the receipt of claims for eligible expenditures. For more information, please consult section 3.5.3 of the Guide to the Terms and Conditions. Repayment criteria is described in section 3.5.6 of the General Guide.

Is there a minimum funding request from the program?

Yes, the minimum request is $300,000. Please refer to section 2.5 of the CGP Applicants’ Guide for detailed information regarding funding allocation for both Demonstration and R&D projects. The minimums and maximums described in the CGP Applicants’ Guide are in relation to the lifetime of the project.

According to the CGP Applicants’ Guide, $9M may be allocated to operational funding for federal research centres. Will the CGP only cover the operational expenses of federal research centres?

Subject to funding availability, both O&M and salary for federal labs may be considered eligible under the program. Further information will be provided to successful applicants.

Can CGP funding be used to subcontract knowledge and services to complete the project?

Funding can be disbursed to subcontractors/partners provided that there is a contract in place with the subcontractor, and those subcontractors invoice the proponent for eligible expenditures incurred. Subcontracts that could be construed as an assignment of the project (i.e. where most of NRCan’s funding flows to partners rather than the proponent) are not permitted under the program. Potential partner subcontracts should be identified in the proposal.

Are there audit requirements for companies that receive funding from the CGP?

Audit requirements are described in Section 3.5.4 of the Guide to the Terms and Conditions. More information will be provided to successful applicants.

Are there limitations on CGP funding used to purchase equipment and other materials for the project?

Limitations will be determined on a case by case basis, for more information please refer to section 6.1 of the General Guide for detailed information regarding eligible expenditures.

Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Projects & Intellectual Property

Will the proponent retain IP rights?

As per section 3.7 of our general guide:

If project does not include federal research centre support:

All Intellectual Property that arises in the course of a project shall vest in, or be licensed to, the Proponent. The Proponent will grant to Canada a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use the data and information contained in reports and modify such reports and documents for non-commercial governmental purposes.

For projects that include federal research centre in-kind support:

The ownership and licencing of all Intellectual Property that arises in the course of a project will be negotiated on a case by case basis and will be documented in the agreement(s).

Are IP agreements between partners required to be in place, or in the process of being negotiated at the time of proposal submission?

For projects not involving federal laboratories, all IP that arises in the course of a project shall vest in, or be licensed to, the Proponent. The Proponent will grant to Canada a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free license in perpetuity to use the data and information contained in reports and modify such reports and documents for non-commercial governmental purposes.

Agreements between partners do not need to be in place prior to the proposal submission. However, any IP discussions with partners should ensure that for successful applicants, the negotiated IP agreements meet the above requirements.

For projects involving federal laboratories, IP negotiation may be required both during the proposal submission (between federal laboratories and applicants/partners), and following a funding decision, between applicants/partners and the Clean Growth Program.

Will STAC projects be evaluated with the same criteria as a regular project, and will they receive any type of preferential treatment during the evaluation process?

Yes, STAC projects will be evaluated with the same criteria as a regular project, and all projects will be evaluated equally on their merit and innovativeness.

Are federal research centre in-kind contributions to STAC projects included in the overall $155M funding amount?

Yes, federal research centre in-kind contributions in STAC projects are included in the $155M.

Evaluation and selection

Will projects be evaluated on both technical merit and regional considerations?

Yes.  During the technical review stage, projects will be assessed on their technical merit. Projects that are screened in will then be reviewed on broader considerations including regional diversity.

Must projects satisfy environmental, economic or social objectives of the program?

Both the environmental and economic objectives are not necessarily required, rather the objectives are desired outcomes which the program intends to achieve. Projects should demonstrate and explain how it advances the desired outcomes of the program.

Are projects selected on a rolling basis, or, will project selections only begin once the LOI deadline has closed?

Selection of projects will begin once the LOI deadline has closed. Applications will not be reviewed and selected prior to the deadline.

Are R&D projects required to commercialize at the end of the project duration?

The commercialization of R&D projects is not an expectation, nor a requirement, however, if an applicant were to indicate that this is a possibility it will certainly serve as an advantage for the applicant.

If selected for funding, would this prohibit an applicant from collaborating on other projects?

There are no restrictions on the number of projects a proponent may be involved.

If a private firm is selected for funding will it have access to federal research facilities?

No, selection under the CGP does not imply access to federal research centre facilities. Only STAC projects will receive access to federal facilities.

Application process

Can an applicant submit multiple LOIs?

Yes. A single applicant can apply for funding for multiple projects. An applicant cannot submit multiple LOIs for the same project.

Can multiple individuals collaborate on the LOI, or is INTEGRO access limited to one individual per firm?

Yes, multiple individuals can collaborate on the LOI through INTEGRO.

Project and Technology Specific

Is my technology/project eligible for this program?

The program has identified five Focus Areas based on environmental reductions for land, water and air in the natural resource operations and as such, the program is not limited to specific technologies.

Look at the details of the Applicants’ Guide to self assess whether the project would qualify. Key components to keep in mind when self-assessing your project:

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

The program will only fund projects between TRL levels 3 to 9. Please refer to the applicants’ guide for our definitions of each TRL level. The Program defines ‘demonstration’ as the testing and evaluation of prototype technologies. The use of a commercial technology being implemented in real world full-scale operation is considered a deployment project.

Innovation

Is this project filling a gap within the industry? Is it Innovative?

Natural Resource Operation

Does the predominant work occur in the natural resource operation? Definition of the natural resource operations is the industrial processes involved in the extraction, harvesting and conversion of natural resources. For energy, this includes the conversion of primary energy sources into electricity.

Alignment

Is the project aligned with the objectives of the program and with the focus areas? Does the project occur within one of the three sectors (energy, mining and forestry) eligible in the Clean Growth Program?