Energy and Environment

In Ontario, the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA) estimates the energy and environment sectors are worth $8B in annual revenues and $1B in export. One of the key drivers for innovation and stimulation of economic growth is new legislation: the Green Energy and Green Economy Act which was enacted into legislation in 2009 and the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act which was enacted in 2010.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has been a significant player in the energy sector for years, investing approximately $37M since 2005 in developing clean energy technologies that directly affect how we live, work, move, the fuels we use, and energy end-use technologies, as well as energy conversion, and transmission and distribution technologies. Industry co-investment in these research and development projects totals over $65M. A $10M investment to further solar, hydrogen and conservation and demand management technologies has been made through OCE’s Special Energy Fund (SEF) since 2008. 

OCE’s investment in environmental technologies dates back to its inception, investing close to $126M which has been leveraged to well over $250M through partner contributions. There are a number of major issues facing this sector with many stakeholder groups involved: increasing populations into urban areas; aging infrastructure; and climate change impacts. To that end, OCE has worked with industry, academia and all levels of government to build communities of interest in every aspect of environmental technology including:

  • Clean Water Technologies – Drinking water, wastewater and source water protection
  • Clean Air Technologies – Air quality (indoor and outdoor) and environmental health
  • Sustainable Agriculture – Greenhouse industry and agricultural bio-products including viticulture
  • Sustainable Infrastructure – Brownfield remediation; buried infrastructure; green buildings; technologies for sustainable communities
  • Waste Management – Landfill waste diversion; waste minimization
  • Resource Management – Mining and mineral exploration; forest management; integrated information management systems

Of particular note is Ontario’s water industry, with 900 firms and 22,000 employees, which covers the full spectrum of leading water technology and service providers. Ontario is also a global leader in developing clean water innovation and management through the expertise in its universities and colleges. Since 2004, OCE has invested more than $4.3 million in 45 water-related projects that have engaged 55 research experts, and approximately 100 college and university students. OCE’s participation has also attracted an additional $5.83 million in follow-on investment.

Over the past few years OCE has developed a holistic framework that recognizes the inter-relationship of energy, water, climate change, effective use of resources, and land use for food and agriculture. We recognize the need for creative financing and integration of information and communication technologies to better manage and support asset management and development of smarter cities and communities.

Recent Successes in this Area

Sudbury project receives $1.6M to tackle greenhouse gas emissions

March 23, 2018

SUDBURY, March 23, 2018 –Today at Laurentian University, the Ontario government announced $798,000 in funding from the TargetGHG program for the Landscape Carbon Accumulation Research (L-CARE) project. The joint initiative will also receive funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a TargetGHG partner, bringing the total to $1.6M in government support of research aimed at tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The TargetGHG program is funded by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS) and administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

“Supporting the efforts of large industries in their quest to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of our government’s Climate Change Action Plan,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “With the help of our province’s innovative cleantech companies, the TargetGHG program will help build a prosperous, low carbon economy and create a cleaner, more sustainable future for Ontario.”

The TargetGHG program will help Ontario meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by encouraging large industrial plants to adopt leading-edge technology and supporting Ontario’s entrepreneurs in developing creative new solutions in the clean-tech sector by funding innovative projects.

“Taking steps to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gases and air pollution on our climate and environment is a key priority in Canada,” says Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “NSERC is proud to partner with Ontario Centres of Excellence to connect Canada’s top researchers and companies to develop innovative clean technologies that will advance environmental sustainability in Canada and improve the health and quality of life of Canadians.”

L-CARE is a part of the TargetGHG Stream 2 Collaborative R&D Program, which supports industry-academic collaborative research and development projects. The projects in this stream will address Ontario’s 2020-2030 targets for GHG emission reduction and provide significant economic benefits to Ontario (jobs, revenues, etc.).

The L-CARE project focuses on management of brownfield and other industrially-impacted landscapes and will examine options to manage reclamation as part of a carbon sequestration strategy in relation to extensive hard-rock mining, looking at treatment and management strategies across mine tailings environments and three main ecosystem types: upland, wetland, and aquatic. Partners on this project include Laurentian University, Vale Canada Limited, Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Sudbury INO), and the City of Greater Sudbury, as well as co-investigators and collaborators—McMaster University, Trent

University, Queen’s University, Université de Sherbrooke, and Université du Québec à Montréal, and collaborators from Cambridge University, Cornell University, The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Canadian Forest Service

“Environmental sustainability is one of our greatest challenges, both now and in the future,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “OCE is proud to be a part of Ontario’s commitment to cleantech research and innovation by supporting provincial programs like TargetGHG.”

For more information about the TargetGHG program, please visit

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.


NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform research & development and solve scale-up challenges. NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

Media Contact:

Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092