Open Innovation Challenge: Greenhouses

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Cycle Momentum, formerly the Ecofuel Accelerator, and Hydro-Québec are launching a new Open Innovation Program to optimize environmental and energy management through the development and integration of new technologies. The goal is to support the greenhouse sector and accelerate Quebec’s transition to food self-sufficiency.

Watch our information session.

Partners

The Challenge

In the past year, the pandemic has highlighted Quebec’s dependence on imports of essential goods. Food self-sufficiency has therefore become a priority issue for the Quebec population, and that is why Hydro-Québec has decided to act as a catalyzer to help the most promising projects come to fruition. InnovHQ is Hydro-Québec’s subsidiary mandated to stimulate innovation in Quebec, with the aim of accelerating the energy transition. InnoHQ will therefore work with Cycle Momentum as part of this challenge to help companies in the greenhouse sector develop commercial offers that incorporate the proposed innovations.

In parallel with the “Open Innovation Challenge: Greenhouses,” Écotech Québec is offering a unique networking event in Quebec whose goal is to generate business opportunities between agri-food companies and clean technology innovators. Visit: https://grandsrendezvous.com/

The Challenge

Promote the development and integration of technologies that optimize environmental and energy management in the greenhouse sector and accelerate Quebec’s transition to food self-sufficiency.

Hydro-Québec’s Goals

  • Play a leadership role in the development of new market segments for clean tech in Quebec.
  • Accelerate innovation in growth sectors, particularly by promoting increased collaboration between businesses.
  • Generate new sources of revenue and value creation that are socially responsible.
  • Ensure optimal integration of new technologies into the electrical grid.

Expected Solutions

Hydro-Québec is looking for innovative start-ups and SMEs that develop technologies applicable to greenhouse agriculture:

  • Heating, air conditioning, and heat recovery
  • Systems, controls, and environmental optimization, among others:
    • moisture and irrigation
    • ventilation
    • lighting
    • temperature
    • CO2
  • Electricity demand modulation (e.g. optimal interruption management)
  • Advanced, autonomous, predictive controls
  • Data analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Production homogeneity
  • Intelligent or advanced thermal envelope

Benefits for Participating Companies

Multiple Business Opportunities

Contribute to the development of technology in the agricultural sector in collaboration with Hydro-Québec, sector partners, and other participating businesses.

Strategic Support From Partners in the Agricultural Ecosystem

Direct access to key decision makers to gain exposure and properly focus your business proposal.

Technical and Business Support

Interactions with industry experts, coaching, and mentoring.

Unique Visibility and Networking

Take part in InnovHQ’s first Innovation Summit and present your company and technology to key industry players.

Access to Financing

The ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec will link the “Open Innovation Challenge: Greenhouses” with the first-time adopter program. Thus, the selected companies, if they are eligible, will be able to access up to $50,000 in financial assistance to carry out pilot projects in collaboration with Quebec companies.

Criteria

Eligible Businesses

  • You are a start-up  or a small business over two years old with at least three employees.
  • You are presenting a small-scale validated technology or product, a working prototype, a demonstration, or you are in the commercialization phase (TRL rating of 4 or more).
  • You have your head office or your offices in Quebec, Canada, or elsewhere in the world (it doesn’t matter).
  • You are available to participation in an intensive collaboration program with Hydro-Québec and industry partners (third and fourth quarters of 2021)
  • You have an entrepreneurial team speaking French or English.

The Solution or Technology

  • Significantly and quantifiably improves the performance of greenhouse agriculture.
  • Must be unique.
  • Provides economic benefits for Québec.
  • Can be integrated with related technologies.
  • Offers simplicity of implementation, scalability, and flexibility (possibility of integration or interoperability)

The Entrepreneurial Team

  • Demonstrates a high level of skill and experience.
  • Has reached a sufficient level of maturity (Business Readiness Level 5 and above).
  • Has been in business for more than two years.
  • Is open and adaptable to collaborative approaches from other companies, partners, or customers to develop and test integrated solutions.

Your Business Proposal

  • Describes the solution or technology.
  • Displays current applications.
  • Shows technical performance data.
  • Explains the business proposal in detail.

Types of Collaboration Sought

Collaborations between Hydro-Québec and start-ups or SMBs, as well as with sector partners and agricultural producers.

Type of Possible Agreements

Timeline

Step 1

July 2, 2021

Deadline to apply online: July 2, 2021.

Stay tuned to register for the informational webinar in early June.

Preselection

Mid-July

Pre-selection of 10 to 15 companies based on their ability to meet the challenge.

Step 2

Late July to late September

Evaluations and Workshops

Experts and partners conduct an in-depth evaluation of participating companies and proposed solutions.

Detailed explanation of the results sought from the collaboration.

Selection

-

Half-Day Presentation

Selection of the 3 to 5 companies that will move on to the next stage of the challenge.

Selection committee: Hydro-Québec executives, sector partners, and entrepreneurial mentors.

Step 3

-

Accelerating Collaboration

Structured meetings between partners and entrepreneurs to explore the potential for collaboration and technological optimization.

Additional support tailored to the specific needs of each company. 

Production of a deliverable by participating companies, such as a proof of concept, a product meeting minimum viability criteria, a business proposal, or a pilot project.

Step 4

-

Presentation Day 

The companies present their final product to Hydro-Québec and sector partners.

Afterwards, the partners will decide whether or not to enter into an agreement with the participating companies.

About

Cycle Momentum – formerly the Ecofuel Accelerator – offers a specialized and customized program for clean technology companies. Founded by Cycle Capital, Cycle Momentum works with entrepreneurs who are developing and commercializing clean technologies and provides support in starting up businesses that will compete internationally. It provides entrepreneurs with training workshops, networking sessions, and mentoring, and investors with access to the most promising start-ups in the Canadian clean-tech ecosystem.

In addition to the financial support provided by the Government of Quebec, Cycle Momentum can count on the support and collaboration of Cycle Capital, Transition énergétique Québec, Fonds Vert, Écotech Québec, Fasken, and the City of Montréal.

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits, and distributes electricity. It is the largest producer of electricity in Canada and one of the largest producers of hydroelectricity in the world. Its sole shareholder is the Quebec government. The company operates primarily in the renewable energy sector, with a particular focus on large hydro. Its research facilities, collectively known as “Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ),” conduct research and development in the field of energy, including energy efficiency and energy storage. InnovHQ, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, was created to stimulate innovation and develop business opportunities to accelerate the energy transition.

Partners

Sponsor Funds

Collaborator Funds