In mid-March, the B.C. Cleantech CEO Alliance released British Columbia Cleantech: Status Report 2016 , the result of a survey conducted by consultants KPMG in Fall 2016. The new Status Report shows “dramatic growth” since the previous report in 2011, supporting the Alliance branding of B.C. cleantech as “the next pillar of the Canadian economy”.
Between 2011 and 2016, “the number of Cleantech companies is up 35% to 273, the number of BC-based employees is up 20% to 8,560, average wages have increased by 24% to $84,000 and the amount of equity raised is also up 25% to $6 billion.” The sector employs highly trained workers, such as engineers, designers, and sales and marketing professionals, resulting in that high average salary. 91% of companies are located in the Greater Vancouver area.
The survey respondents were only those early-stage companies whose primary purpose is developing new technologies – respondents were distributed as follows: 20% energy generation; 16% transportation; 12 % Building efficiency; 12% Resource recovery and waste management; 11% industrial efficiency; 11% water and waste water; 7% transmission and storage; 4% sustainable agriculture, and a miscellaneous 7% remainder. Given the early stage of these companies, the key focus in the survey was on the sources of finance and the business climate for entrepreneurs. Results show that there is a heavy reliance on federal and provincial government incentive programs – for example, 75% of respondent companies had applied to the Scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) program and over half had applied to the federal Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).