Nullam recently attended the Globe Forum in Vancouver. As the name suggests, the event is more a forum than a typical conference: a microcosm of two thousand delegates from across sustainable business and government and many thousand more who work in this space.
This year’s Forum was aptly entitled, Disrupting Business As Usual. As Susan Koch, CFO of Carbon Engineering, said “History is one long big continuity of disruption." Most of the talks and discussions kept returning to the point that we have the tools and talent to transition to a more sustainable future but we need to expedite this process and continue innovating to drive results. Global capital is mobilized and available, but slow commercialization and scaling timeframes hamper our ability to develop fundable projects.
The Innovation Expo was particularly illuminating showcasing the work of two hundred companies working in fields such as enabling technology, smart- and micro-grids, energy storage, construction, transportation, water innovation, carbon offsets, carbon capture and storage (CCUS), and advanced manufacturing. As always, Canadian businesses like Morgan Solar, Carbon Cure, Inventys, General Fusion, and Corvus Energy provide examples of best practice in their respective industries. This year, a record 13 Canadian companies were named to the Global Cleantech 100 List - demonstrating that Canadian companies punch well above their weight and continue to grow.
A feature of the Globe Forum is also it’s B2B program matching businesses with investors, strategic buyers and funding agencies. There were also talks by Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation which all attended to highlight the support they offer Canadian clean tech businesses from R&D through to commercialization and export. Moreover, the Trade Commissioner Service hosted fascinating workshops showcasing opportunities for Canadian cleantech businesses both at home and abroad.
Hon Minister Catherine McKenna also made a timely announcement at the Globe Forum: announcing the Low-Carbon Economy Challenge, part of the Federal government’s Low-Carbon Economy Fund. This challenge will leverage CAD $500 million to finance innovative projects to spur clean growth. As she said, “This is about building a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable and more prosperous future.”
Of course, it was not all panels and espressos, there were a tirade of after hour and side-events such as film screenings and social drinks at the iconic Vancouver Club and Sinclair Centre. These provided the perfect, relaxed atmosphere to reconnect with clients and friends and enjoy a little down-time.
We look forward to attending the next Globe Series in 2019!