Oakville cleantech company gets $4.1M in federal funding


Published December 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Oakville-based Polar Sapphire has received $4.1 million in federal funding to help the company become a leader in the production of high-purity alumina (HPA) used in next-generation solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LIB). POLAR SAPPHIRE IMAGE

The federal government is providing $4.1 million in funding to an Oakville cleantech company to help Canada meet its ambitious climate objectives.

On Wednesday, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the investment in Oakville-based Polar Sapphire through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

The funding will help the local company become a leader in the production of high-purity alumina (HPA) used in next-generation solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LIB).

This collaboration marks the second time Polar Sapphire has received a SDTC investment.

“Now is the time for ambitious climate action,” said Champagne. “Cleantech innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization are key to the vital shift to a healthier environment and a net-zero carbon economy.

“Today’s announcement will boost our leadership in climate and waste reduction technologies and help foster a truly Canadian success story.”

Polar Sapphire will use the investment to evolve its core process for the manufacture of a different type of HPA, improving the product’s quality and purity while expanding its market.

The company employs cutting-edge technology to perform purification at lower temperatures and with less power, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of HPA production.

Next-generation LIBs will require HPA as a key ingredient. These solid-state LIBs could be a game changer for electric vehicles and many other clean technologies by charging faster, storing more energy, offering greater safety than liquid LIBs and helping propel the shift to a net-zero carbon economy.

“SDTC funding will allow Polar Sapphire to build a demonstration line for manufacturing high-purity alumina used in the production of lithium-ion batteries,” said Scott Nichol, Founder and CEO, Polar Sapphire.

“We are very excited about the tremendous growth opportunities for battery raw materials created by the rapid growth in electric vehicles.”
The federal government says investing in clean technology lays the foundation for a stronger, greener and more sustainable economy that creates opportunities for all Canadians.

It maintains that the investments made today will help grow the economy and support Canada’s ability to meet its 2030 climate commitments and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Currently, clean technology companies employ more than 211,000 Canadians in well-paying jobs.

“Canadian entrepreneurs are driving the innovation that is moving us towards a more sustainable and prosperous future,” said Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

“This investment will enable Polar Sapphire to rapidly accelerate and commercialize its ideas and continues the momentum of public and private commitments to reducing global emissions.”
SDTC is Canada’s largest funder of clean technology entrepreneurs.

Since 2001, SDTC has invested more than $1.38 billion in 460 companies that have generated $2.8 billion in annual revenues, created 16,930 jobs, brought 177 new technologies to market and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22.4 megatonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking almost 7 million cars off the road every year.

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