Press release

22 Feb 2018 Montréal, CA

Cleantech sector on the rise in Québec

Cleantech cuts across all sectors of the Québec economy yet remains relatively unknown and hard to define.

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Sarah Shields

EY Canada Assistant Director, Public Relations

Passionate communicator and writer. Firmly believes Vancouver summers are worth six months of rain.

Pureplay cleantech meet the needs and challenges of traditional sectors

Cleantech cuts across all sectors of the Québec economy yet remains relatively unknown and hard to define. According to a new EY survey, Québec pureplay cleantech generates over $1 billion in annual revenue and $300 million in research and development investments, while employing nearly 9,000 people across some 350 companies. From green process innovations for food production and sustainable natural resource management, to driving energy efficiency in manufacturing, real estate and transportation, cleantech impacts every area of economic activity.

“Energy occupies a prominent position in the cleantech sector,” says Patrick Bossé, EY partner and Québec Energy Sector Leader. “But growing public awareness of climate issues is putting more pressure on these businesses to explore opportunities for companies to rethink operations and reduce their environmental footprint. The abundance of qualified workers is helping cleantech companies achieve these ambitions.”

The survey reveals that access to a skilled and diverse workforce is the most favorable factor for the development of the cleantech sector in Québec. This is expected to continue thanks to the draw of cleantech among young people under 20. The data also shows that the sector attracts workers from various levels of education, and that three out of ten firms under five years old were founded by women.

“In a context where governments have shown a clear willingness to go green, governments and institutional markets offer excellent growth opportunities for cleantech in the coming years,” says Denis Leclerc, Écotech Québec President and CEO. “Québec has what it takes, including talent, to carve out a solid position in the green economy at home and abroad. There is no lack of fertile ground for innovative ways to meet the needs of both today and tomorrow.”

Pureplay cleantech companies expect strong business growth over the next two to three years, with revenues predicted to double. All markets are set to grow, but the US market is where the cleantech industry expects to generate a quarter of its revenues.

“While the findings are upbeat, Québec pureplay cleantech companies face a number of challenges,” says Bossé. “Cleantech companies see access to funding, particularly for demonstration pilot projects, and access to markets as central to their main obstacles for growth. Funding needed to support growth could exceed $2 billion.”

Check out the EY Cleantech in Québec report for a baseline on Québec’s pureplay clean technology companies and a summary of the key government programs available to companies.

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