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North America's Leading Energy Event
June 13-15, 2023
BMO Centre at Stampede Park - Calgary, Canada

Foresight Cleantech | Clean Technology Innovation | Global Energy Show

How Foresight is Leading Canadian Cleantech Innovation

A windmill
Since the Canadian Government introduced their ambitious net zero emissions targets, Canadian industry has been striving to reach the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It’s a big task but Foresight Canada, a not-for-profit corporation, has stepped up to help everyone from startups to large industry players accomplish this goal.

Jeanette Jackson is the CEO of Foresight Canada, Canada’s Cleantech Ecosystem Accelerator. Jeanette sat down with Rachel Gregory, digital host at Global Energy to discuss how Jeanette and her team’s expertise have helped position Canada as a global centre in the cleantech sector and will accelerate the growth of Canadian companies with cleantech energy solutions.

What is Foresight Canada?

Rachel: Tell us about Foresight. How do you accelerate the impact of cleantech solutions to help Canada meet net-zero climate targets?

Jeanette: Ultimately, we are Canada's largest cleantech accelerator. That means we support the innovation community as they navigate launching, commercialization, and scaling cleantech innovation to increase adoption and support the industry's goal to get to net zero.

What's interesting about our approach is that we really look at the ecosystem and ensure that industry, academia, government and investors are also part of these conversations. This way the innovation community, ventures, entrepreneurs, and their business models and go-to-market strategies really align with paying customers. Of course, all with net-zero in mind.

Foresight Canada’s Strategic Collaborations

Rachel: You not only work with energy companies but other industries as well. Can you tell us more about your sector-based approach?

Jeanette: Cleantech is so broad. We need to break down silos between stakeholders within sub-sectors. What we've done is take a bit of a sectoral approach by separating bio-economy, agritech, agrifood, carbon, energy, and water. This helps by making sure the stakeholders we bring together and convene for those different sub-sectors are all on the same page. They have the same goals, the same objectives, and forge deep connections to work together towards addressing our urgent climate challenges.

Foresight’s Strategic Partners

Rachel: To help Canada become a leader and a global technology adoption and development hub in the CCUS sector, you, alongside Carbon Management Canada, launched Carbon Next. Can you tell us more about it?

Jeanette: Absolutely. We've been working with Carbon Management Canada for quite a while now.

About two years ago, we were asked to support some of their efforts here in British Columbia with their carbon capture institute on Mitchell Island in BC. We sourced some of the innovators that could use those facilities to work through some of the technology validation needs that they had as they worked to commercialize their technology.

Carbon Next is phase two of that partnership. We're going to be leaning in and taking an ecosystem approach on working with the industry to identify innovation gaps in their path to net-zero and making calls for acceleration of ventures that are specifically solving those problems.

You can almost look at it as a closed-loop innovation cycle on specifically all technologies and innovations that support carbon management, carbon reduction, carbon abatement, and more.

Why Canada is One of the Hottest Areas of Global Investment

Rachel: How do you help Canadian Cleantech companies attract global investment? What makes Canadian companies attractive to the market?

Jeanette: In addition to supporting the Carbon Capture Institution on Mitchell Island, we've also formed a collaborative partnership with Carbon Management Canada on exporting a CCUS technology roadmap for Canadian CCUS companies, which allows them to have some understanding of what international business markets are looking for. Those create fundamental opportunities to help those companies attract more federal direct investment and interest on a global scale.

Other activities that we do involve investor readiness and access to capital matchmaking.

On the deal flow side, we have a pool of global venture capital firms and other investment partners that are looking for the right deals to invest in. We’ll often coordinate that matchmaking through events and deal flow activities. Of course, there are lots of other ways that we can support federal direct investment. That’s through relationships, partnerships, industry, and strategies. They all play a critical role in capitalizing on the future of our cleantech innovation.

How Cleantech Can Help Canada’s Path to Net Zero

Rachel: The global energy show is about bringing experts and leaders from all energy sources in one room to collaborate, discuss solutions and do business. How does collaboration play a key role in the energy transition?

Jeanette: Collaboration is one of our core values at Foresight. At the end of the day, urgent climate issues are just too big and urgent for us not to want to collaborate and break down silos, pool resources, and set priorities. And of course, we need breakthrough clean technology companies that will coach the energy industry and others through the global transition to a green economy. We're seeing more collaboration with those partners than ever before.

Learn More About Cleantech Innovation

If you want to continue learning about Canadian cleantech innovation, the path to net-zero and the new energy economy, and more exciting and prevalent energy topics in the Canadian market, register for the next Global Energy Show.