PARTEQ-founded centre stimulates $3.2 million investment in breakthrough Queen’s technology
A new approach to commercializing Canadian research discoveries in green chemistry has resulted in a $3.2 million vote of confidence in a Queen’s University discovery from industry investors and venture capitalists.
The investment will be used to further develop a promising green solvent technology with a wide array of potential uses, including efficient, clean recovery of bitumen from oil sands, plastics recycling and oil extraction from seeds or algae.
“PARTEQ provided the leadership and vision that identified a need for a national, collaborative approach to developing university research that brought together industry, infrastructure and focused expertise in a hands-on, substantive way,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s. “GreenCentre and its spinoff company are the exciting products of that vision.”
The technology, discovered by Dr. Philip Jessop, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry at Queen’s University, recently formed the basis of a new Ontario company, Switchable Solutions Inc.
Switchable Solutions was formed by GreenCentre Canada, a National Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR ). GreenCentre was established by PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s.
“There is a great wealth of green chemistry innovation happening in Canada, but in the past we lacked the critical mass to support these discoveries beyond the research lab,” says John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ Innovations. “This first investment shows that the GreenCentre model is working.”
Partners in the SSI investment round include strategic industrial partners, financial partners and management. Approximately half of the offering resulted from cash injections, with the remainder through development services provided by strategic industrial partners. The company’s shareholders now include GreenCentre Canada, Fielding Chemical Technologies Inc., Pressure Chemicals Inc., Stewardship Ontario, Nexcycle Plastics Inc., Fallingbrook Management Inc. and Switchable Solutions’ management.