The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program – and intelligent blends of public-private investment to cross the ‘Valley of Death’

Last Friday, we were thrilled to be selected as 1 of 5 pre-qualified innovations in Toronto that the Federal Government may buy and test via its Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program.  In total, 36 innovations qualified across Canada, in what is the program’s second round. The full press release is available here.

As an added bonus, Public Works and Government Services Canada, who administer the CICP program, organized an event at 30 Ordnance to announce the  Toronto innovations. We had the great honour of hosting the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister of the Asia-Pacific Gateway, as well as his PWGSC colleagues, representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI), and other companies who either were selected for the program, or who are interested in applying for the next round.

Here are some photos I took from the morning, starting with John Paul explaining the Sun Simba™  technology to Minister Fast, as his father Eric Morgan (left), also the Strategic Advisor to our Board, and Manny Agiropoulos from PWGSC, look on.

Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program Media Event

John Paul Morgan, CTO of Morgan Solar, explains the Sun Simba™ technology to Minister Fast.

CICP Media Event - the Honourable Ed Fast's Speech

Minister Fast announces the Toronto-based innovations that qualified for the CICP Program, and speaks of the importance of innovation to the Canadian economy. Nic Morgan spoke after on the value of Canada's R&D support to companies like Morgan Solar.

Mantech, Morgan Solar, and Minister Fast announcing CICP pre-qualified companies
From left to right: Robert Menegotto, President of Mantech Inc.; the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; Nicolas Morgan, VP Biz Dev of Morgan Solar; John Paul Morgan; CTO of Morgan Solar; and Manny Agiropoulos, Chief of SME Stakeholder Engagement at Public Works and Government Services Canada. 

My initial impression from mentioning CICP to others in the industry is that it’s a little lesser known than other Federal and Provincial commercialization programs, perhaps because it’s relatively new. It fills a much-needed gap though, which is the space between the R&D support programs that have a hard stop at your first sale – e.g. Ontario’s Innovation Demonstration Fund and the Federal Sustainable Development Technology Fund Canada – and the incentives that governments offer more established companies to locate R&D and/ or manufacturing, and their associated jobs, in a given place – e.g. Ontario’s Strategic Jobs and Investment Fund.

That’s why programs like CICP, which encourage early adopters to purchase a new technology for demonstration, are so valuable. They represent  “intelligent blends of public and private investment”, as a 2005 Forbes article on new technology commercialization put it, that help start-ups traverse that affectionately called ‘Valley of Death’ – the gulf between R&D completion stage, and successful commercialization.


3 responses to “The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program – and intelligent blends of public-private investment to cross the ‘Valley of Death’

  1. This product has two big problems. The first is its poor durability because it is made of all plastics and it would not be expected to last longer than 15 years or so. The second is its poor optical efficiency. Significant amount of light is lost within the light guide. This is an intrinsic design problem unless a smooth light guide is used in the module. I am not quite sure how these problems can be resolved.

  2. I don’t see any testing results. They are needed not awards. Just because it is something new doesn’t make it efficient. People come up with ideas all the time that doesn’t mean they will work. Only testing using the scientific method will tell if it will work.

  3. Richard,

    We have a dedicated Science team who are conducting extensive research and testing of our products according to scientific and regulatory best practices. We share and generate test results with those who have funded our R&D activities: government bodies, including the Federal Government’s SDTC Program, the National Research Council, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation; our University funding partners – our most significant research partnership is with the University of Ottawa SUNLab; and our Board of Directors. We have been fortunate to attract funding to support R&D projects from such organizations, and also to secure investment from the type of investors we have. This funding is absolutely necessary to assemble the technical team and to conduct the R&D necessary to bring an entirely new product to market.

    Please note that we are a pre-commercial, private company, still very much in the R&D phase. Once we are ready to commercialize, we will publicize performance data and achieve the certifications required.

    Best Regards,

    Morgan Solar Inc.