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Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada

Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada banner

break·through /ˈbrākˌTHro͞o/ : a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.

NOTICE: This program is no longer accepting applications as of September 11, 2019. Thank you to all that applied. Twenty-two finalists from across Canada have been selected through a rigorous competitive process, and came together on January 14 to pitch their clean energy technology or solution. Congratulations to all who participated and to the 10 recipients!

Meet the 10 BESC 2020 cohort of winners


Climate change is one of the world’s greatest challenges, and we need rapid innovation in every part of the energy system to address it.

To tackle this challenge, in 2015 on the margins of COP21 in Paris, Mission Innovation and Breakthrough Energy were born.

Mission Innovation is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission. Breakthrough Energy is a complementary private sector initiative that includes patient and risk-tolerant investors, global corporations and financial institutions.

The goal? To work hand in hand to commercialize new energy technologies, faster.

So, in 2019, NRCan and Breakthrough Energy co-designed and launched the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) Program at the Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial in Vancouver.

And the Business Development Bank of Canada has since joined to enhance this initiative with financing and expert support.

We called on the best and brightest in Canada to bring forward their game-changing ideas in buildings, manufacturing, electricity and transportation with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 0.5Gtonnes/year. 

If this technology was unleashed across the world, I really believe it would be a different world we live in.”
Over 100 companies applied. We selected 22 finalists, and, in January 2020, gave them the opportunity to pitch their solutions to an expert jury.

The big questions that we're trying to figure out is how do we scale this up fast enough?”

NRCan's [Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada] program is the program that we're looking toward to help us … get this technology demonstrated and deployed into the masses.”

The challenges are intense, but so is the ingenuity and boldness of the entrepreneurs and firms who are facing them head on.

Get ready for some breakthroughs.

Program background

Launched at CEM10/MI-4, on May 27, 2019, this program aims to support Canadian entrepreneurs and firms to advance clean energy technologies which could significantly reduce global GHG emissions in the following areas:

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Collaboration and partnerships

Collaboration can increase the impact of clean energy investments and enhance the pace and scale of the adoption of clean energy technology. In partnership with Breakthrough Energy and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), this Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) led call for proposals will leverage financing and expertise to support the advancement of Canadian clean energy technologies that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

What successful applicants will receive

As of August 7, 2019, this program will now make available a total initial investment of up to $40M for breakthrough energy technologies. It is also a unique opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs and start-ups to access potential funding and valuable insight from private investors, like Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and BDC. The successful cohort of companies will also have the opportunity to attend annual “accelerator events”, where they can showcase their innovations to investors like BEV and BDC for the opportunity to be considered for additional private investment.

Stay connected!

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Clean Growth Collaboration Community

NRCan’s exciting online community that fosters collaboration amongst stakeholders within the innovation spectrum and helps them find the support they need to be successful. Join Now!

Follow us on social media and join the conversation using #breakthroughcanada

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