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Calgary’s Summit Nanotech secures big funding for cleantech

International attention on the burgeoning cleantech industry in Calgary is putting millions in capital at access for Calgary companies.

Lithium extraction firm Summit Nanotech secured an additional $14 million in Series A funding this week.

Funds from Xora Innovation, Capricorn, and BHP Ventures will be used to further commercialize Summit Nanotech’s extraction technology.

“This financing will enable us to scale our denaLi technologies to make lithium mining more efficient and sustainable,” said Summit Nanotech CEO, Amanda Hall.

The company has previously raised over $20 million in startup funding. Hall was also the winner of the $1 million Women in Cleantech award from the Government of Canada in 2021. She also was a recipient of the Women of Influence award this year.

Speaking to LiveWire Calgary in December, Hall said that the company would be sending pilot lithium extraction units to locations in Chile and California.

Further funding and deals on the table

Hall said that there is currently incredible demand for lithium, and this poses a problem for the environment.

“Lithium’s exponential demand growth can only be met with the introduction of disruptive lithium extraction technologies,” said Phil Inagaki, Managing Director of Xora Innovation.

“At Xora, we believe that [Summit Nanotech’s] solution will play a critical role in ensuring that there is a sustainable supply of lithium to support the world’s electrification goals.”

Xora Innovation co-led the Series A round of funding.

Summit Nanotech plans on raising an additional $100 million in Series B funding later this year.

The company has also engaged in talks with electric vehicle manufacturers to provide locally sourced lithium for batteries.

Calgary becoming a hub for clean tech investment

The Government of Canada announced $3 million in funding last January to develop an Energy Transition Centre in downtown Calgary. The proposed plan is to transform vacant office space into a cleantech innovation hub.

“Our support for an Energy Transition Centre in the heart of downtown Calgary and a proven accelerator for clean technology companies will help ensure that Alberta businesses can capitalize on these advantages and capture significant global market share in the clean technology sector,” said Daniel Vandal, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development.

The goal is to attract further investment into local Albertan cleantech companies. Foreign direct investment into Alberta has been identified as being critical to scale up cleantech start-ups.

According to a study done for Calgary Economic Development, clean technology could provide up to 170,000 jobs in the province. It could also provide an additional $61 billion towards the province’s GDP by 2050.