Step number one in getting your cleantech innovation adopted by producers in the booming Alberta, Canada oil and natural gas industry: Introduce it to one of the many Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) firms supplying Alberta producers. Step two: Go to Edmonton.
So says Amanda Babichuk, Investment Attraction Manager for the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Babichuk spoke at the Canadian Consulate office in San Francisco at an "Insider's Breakfast - Opportunities in Canada." Alberta's economy is booming with crude oil trading at near record highs, and oil producers there are keen on clean technologies to minimize the environmental impacts of the production of synthetic crude from Alberta tar sands oil while maintaining Canada's place as the number one supplier of oil to the United States.
Clean tech startups should identify EPC firms specializing in Geologic and Petroleum Engineering that are supplying the Canadian producers such as SunCor Energy and Syncrude Canada and then reach out to them directly or through the EEDC and then ultimately make one or several trips up to Alberta to demonstrate commitment.
Startups should also contact TEC Edmonton, a not-for-profit joint venture of the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) that helps inventors and entrepreneurs access expertise, management and financing for their technology venture. Entrepreneurs can also contact the Alberta California Venture Channel which is aimed at matching investors and entrepreneurs from Alberta and California.
A brochure produced by the Bay Area Economic Forum and part of the handouts at the event noted that from 2002 to 2006, "approximately 20 Canadian venture firms invested in Silicon Valley, in deals totaling nearly $230 million." And Barbara Giacomin, Canadian Consul and Trade Commissioner in the San Francisco office, noted that Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA) - over CAN$500 billion in 2006 - is on the increase, with the United States receiving the biggest share, at 43%.