By Ariel Visconti
OCE-supported cleantech company Clear Blue Technologies continues to build momentum as it recently celebrated a major government investment.
On March 20, John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West, and the Hon. Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced that Clear Blue Technologies will receive up to $92,000 in funding through the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
The funding will help the Toronto-based company further develop its Smart Off-Grid technology. Clear Blue’s system offers the unique capability to control, monitor and manage solar and wind-powered lighting and security systems over the Internet. The technology has both environmental and cost-saving benefits, as it eliminates expensive energy distribution and labour costs.
“We have been very pleased to support this extremely creative and forward looking company in recent years with various aspects of its growth including the building of distributor networks,” says OCE President Dr. Tom Corr. “The new funding is a fantastic development that will help ensure Clear Blue is able to realize its vision for this breakthrough technology.”
The NRC-IRAP announcement was made at Toronto’s Aquavista at Bayside Presentation Centre, where Clear Blue COO Miriam Tuerk demonstrated one of the company’s Illumient off-grid solar and wind powered streetlights installed there as part of a pilot project with Tridel. Hines’ and Tridel’s $1.1-billion Bayside Toronto is the largest private-sector development so far as part of Waterfront Toronto’s mandate to revitalize the city’s lakefront areas.
Tuerk noted the potential of smart off-grid technology to establish Ontario and Canada as leaders in the off-grid energy sector and leverage the opportunities brought on by the Internet of Things. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 25 billion connected devices in use.
Clear Blue’s Illumient street lights have also been installed throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Canada, as well as in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), now part of OCE, initially supported collaborations between Clear Blue Technologies and two local colleges, Centennial and George Brown, to develop a prototype and conduct in-field testing. OCE then stepped in with a First Job award followed by two Market Readiness projects.