Government of Canada seeking innovative ways to reduce tree planting cost and waste

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Natural Resources Canada is challenging small businesses to propose new processes and technologies for tree seedling activities

November 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario - The Government of Canada is supporting Canadian small businesses through the Innovative Solutions Canada program by inviting them to come up with a new innovative product, service or solution in response to a specific challenge.

Today, Innovative Solutions Canada launched a new challenge led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to modernize tree seedling production and make tree planting more cost-efficient and sustainable. With billions of tree seedlings produced each year in Canada, NRCan is looking for new processes and technologies that will modernize the forest sector by reducing not only the cost of tree seedling production, packaging and transportation but also the amount of waste those activities currently generate. The solution will also help Canada become a world leader in innovative tree planting solutions.

Winning businesses may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development and, if accepted into Phase 2 of the program, up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The government can then act as a first customer, helping these businesses commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good middle-class jobs across Canada.

This challenge will support the Government of Canada’s commitment to plant 2 billion trees over the next 10 years, which is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12 megatonnes annually by 2050 and create up to 4,300 green jobs. The 2 Billion Trees program continues the government’s efforts to advance tree planting as an important part of the solution to climate change.

Quotes

“We are proud to support the growth of small businesses by funding their innovative ideas. This Innovative Solutions Canada challenge will mobilize entrepreneurs, help foster innovation and ensure tree planting and tree seedling activities are both efficient and sustainable.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada’s forests have a critical role to play in getting us to our climate targets and protecting biodiversity. That’s why we’re helping businesses develop innovative tree planting techniques with challenges like this one, while growing Canada’s forests with investments like the 2 Billion Trees program.”
- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • Small businesses will have until December 21, 2021, to apply to the challenge.

  • Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and prepare Canadians to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.

  • There are hundreds of programs and services that offer everything from funding to expert advice to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. Using a simple, story-based user interface, the Business Benefits Finder can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

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Source: Natural Resources Canada