GreenCentre Canada: Transforming Green Technologies into Green Business


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Michael G. Szarka, Director, Commercial Development, GreenCentre Canada, spoke at the CEC Chemicals Management Forum in San Antonio, Texas, on May 16, 2012. More information at:

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GreenCentre Canada: Transforming Green Technologies into Green Business

  1. 1. GreenCentre CanadaTransforming Green Technologies into Green Business CEC Chemicals Management Forum May 2012 1
  2. 2. Changing Chemistry, Changing The World• Chemistry underpins our quality of life;• However, it is this industry that presents us with our most profound sustainability challenges;• Unchanged, our continued reliance on this industry will challenge the environment and could affect human health.• “Green Chemistry” has the potential to address these issues and provide economic benefits. 2
  3. 3. Green Chemistry• Green Chemistry is a chemical philosophy encouraging the design of products and processes that reduce waste, eliminate costly end-of- the-pipe treatments; provide safer products; and reduce use of energy and resources. 3
  4. 4. The Challenge• Many potentially “industry changing” technologies originate in the labs of academic researchers;• Early stage, Green Chemistry discoveries are not attractive to industry at the point where academic research ends;• What is required is a “hands on” approach to commercialization in close collaboration with industry 4
  5. 5. GreenCentre Canada• GreenCentre Canada is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) initially funded with $23 million from government;• Working closely with industry and universities, GCC helps to bridge the industry-academic gap by developing, de-risking and transferring Green Chemistry discoveries;• We are academia’s gateway to the global chemical & materials industry and industry’s portal to Canada’s premier Green technologies. 5
  6. 6. Bridging the Commercialization GapFrom University Labs to Market Typical stage of university technologies: • Bench-test proof of utility • Applications speculative and unproven • Incomplete material characterization • Milligrams of sample • Manufacturing feasibility not studied What industry wants: • Field-test proof of utility • Application development • Optimization & full characterization • Hundreds of grams of sample • Demonstrated scale-up 6
  7. 7. GreenCentre Facilities 7
  8. 8. Business Model• Academia – We develop technologies under an exclusive license and return 75% of net proceeds (usually royalties) to institution;• Start-Ups and SMEs – We support commercialization fee-for-service or partnerships;• Multinationals – We are engaged on a fee-for-service basis and identify potential research relationships with universities. 8
  9. 9. Eleven Industry Sponsors Stepan Co. 9
  10. 10. Why Institutions Work with Us• We have the needed expertise and resources;• We are well connected to the marketplace;• Real world experience in IP management and business development; and• Scale-up manufacturing. 10
  11. 11. Why Industry Works with Us• One-stop-shop to Canada’s best chemistry and material science technologies;• Technologies are extensively evaluated before GCC becomes engaged. (Only the best make it through screening process);• One set of IP policies;• Risk reduction. 11
  12. 12. GreenCentre Canada Three-Year Track Record• 300 technologies from 44 institutions in our portfolio;• Actively commercializing 21 technologies;• Recently created first start-up;• Currently negotiating first two out-license agreements. 12
  13. 13. Atomic Layer DepositionEnabling Energy Savings from Semiconductor Miniaturization 13
  14. 14. ALD Background• Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) allows coating in atom- by-atom layers to a substrate• Requires volatile “precursors” that must deposit from the gas phase, coat the surface in a unimolecular layer, then chemically react to form the desired coating• We have a new family of precursors with the right volatility, stability, and reactivity 14
  15. 15. Moore’s Law Hitting the Wall• As IC features shrink, depositing conductive layers becomes more difficult• ALD can deposit extremely thin “seed” layers which can then be electroplated• Industry estimates the 32nm node and beyond cannot proceed with current interconnect technology 15
  16. 16. Changing the Microelectronics Industry• GreenCentre paid for testing and patenting, synthesized variant compounds, prepared commercial samples and implemented a commercialization strategy• Currently in license negotiations with market leader for copper “The best candidate for copper deposition I’ve seen so far” – ALD Equipment Manufacturer CONFIDENTIAL
  17. 17. Switchable Hydrophilicity Solvents Changing the way the Chemical Industry Operates 17
  18. 18. Unprecedented Versatility 18
  19. 19. Green Solvent Based Cleaning • Dirty Plastics • HDPE • PVC • Drilling Muds • Oil Sands • Degreasing • Soil Contamination 19
  20. 20. Oil Sands Processing 20
  21. 21. Challenges• Some universities are reluctant to surrender management of their technologies (image problem);• Timeline for development of university technologies can be >3 years, which presents challenges for industry and government who want speedy results;• Need to be selective means disappointing many inventors;• Need to deal with a global industry requires broad-minded view of “local” benefits from technology transfer. 21
  22. 22. GreenCentre Canada Overcoming the GapGreenCentre represents a comprehensive andcollaborative approach to commercializing GreenChemistry technologies. People Infrastructure Network Capital 22
  23. 23. ContactMike Szarka, Director, Commercial Development GreenCentre Canada 945 Princess St. W. Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 (613)-507-4700 x109 (905)-925-8298 (cell) 23