For the past six months I’ve been helping the organizers of the annual Green Living Show in Toronto create a Green Innovation Exhibition that shines a spotlight on clean technology invention and innovation in the province. The show and exhibition will be taking place between April 13 and 15 at the Direct Energy Centre (Exhibition Place). I encourage all of my friends and colleagues in the sector to attend.
The exhibition will showcase the most outstanding examples of clean technology designed and developed in Ontario. Exhibitors have been selected by a panel of experts, which included directors and senior managers of Investeco Capital Corp., Green Chip Financial, MaRS Clean Tech Fund, Corporate Knights, Green Living Enterprises and NGO sponsors. The Exhibition itself has the backing of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, MaRS Discovery District and the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and its exclusive private sector sponsor is GE Canada. In other words, this exhibition is the real deal. For anyone interested in seeing the engine under the hood of Ontario’s cleantech sector, visit the show to find out.
About 20 companies, mostly start-ups, will form the core exhibition. They range from makers of electric-assist bicycles, to developers of cutting-edge solar and energy storage systems, to those making the latest advances in the areas of green chemistry, energy efficiency and intelligent transportation. Solar Ship, a designer of a hybrid, solar-powered airship, will also have a presence at the show, and to top it off — like the cherry on a sundae — we will have the greenest project from this month’s Toronto Science Fair competition, as selected by myself and a representative from GE Canada. Innovation and invention in this field stretches far beyond commercial enterprise. Indeed, it often begins in the laboratories and research facilities of our academic institutions. So to further round out the exhibition, we are also including some of the top “green” research projects at Ontario universities.
You can see which companies and universities are attending by clicking here.
I’m really excited about this exhibition and it’s great to see a half year of hard work finally coming to fruition. We don’t shine a big enough spotlight on the Ontario cleantech sector. Sure, we do individual company profiles and hold industry conferences, but rarely does the general public get a chance to see all this great innovation in one place. And let’s face it, we need the public to get excited about this stuff, because this is where our political leaders take their cues. If we want more public investment in cleantech R&D and deployment then we have to get public buy-in. At the same time, busloads of school children attend the Green Living Show. This is an opportunity to educate and inspire young minds — i.e. the green engineers and entrepreneurs in our future.
I hope to see you there. For my colleagues in the business community, consider attending the morning Business Forum Panel on the first day where we will discuss the growing importance of corporate venturing in the Canadian cleantech sector. We have some top-notch senior panelists lined up, and it promises to be an engaging and insightful discussion.