Industry Canada

Industry Canada

June 14, 2005 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests $28.3 Million in Innovative Technology in British Columbia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 14, 2005) - The Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, today announced investments totalling $28.3 million through Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) with three innovative British Columbia small and medium-sized enterprises. These investments will advance research projects with the potential to benefit both the forest and hydrogen industries across Canada.

"In Budget 2005, the Government of Canada made a specific commitment to investing in enabling and environmental technologies," said Minister Emerson. "The investments being announced today clearly demonstrate our commitment to support vital research and development to advance transformative technologies for the benefit of all Canadians."

TPC will be investing up to $9.8 million toward a $48.9-million research project undertaken by CellFor Inc. in Vancouver to develop and scale up a novel plant reproduction system for the selection and mass production of naturally occurring, genetically superior conifer seeds and seedlings. This is the first time these seeds and seedlings will be made available to the forest industry, offering the potential to enhance the industry's productivity and improve the sustainability of Canada's forests.

In addition, TPC will invest in two hydrogen fuel cell technology research projects with the potential to advance the hydrogen economy, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a sustainable environment.

TPC will invest up to $9.5 million toward a $28.9-million project undertaken by Cellex Power Products Inc. in Richmond. Through this project, the company will develop hydrogen fuel cell power units suited for use by industrial lift trucks, such as forklifts used in warehouses.

General Hydrogen (Canada) Corporation in Richmond will receive an investment of up to $9 million toward a $28-million project to develop self-contained fuel cell power packs for industrial vehicles, and associated fuel cell process control and fluid management modules.

Technology Partnerships Canada is a key instrument for advancing the commercialization of research and development. Working in partnership with innovative companies across Canada, TPC shares in the cost of private sector projects related to environmental and enabling technologies as well as those in the aerospace and defence sectors.

The news release, backgrounder and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada Web site at

Technology Partnerships Canada Investments with
British Columbia Firms

CellFor Inc., a forestry biotechnology company, will receive an investment of up to $9.8 million toward a $48.9-million research project to develop and scale up a novel plant reproduction system for the selection and mass production of naturally occurring, genetically superior conifer seeds and seedlings capable of delivering up to 80 million conifer seedlings annually. This technology, which does not involve genetic modification, will allow these seedlings and seeds to be made available to the forest industry for the first time.

Headquartered in Vancouver, CellFor is considered to be a leader in a plant propagation method called somatic embryogenesis (SE), and in its application to the accelerated development and mass production of naturally occurring, genetically superior ("elite") varieties of conifer seeds and seedlings. CellFor's SE and leading first-generation conifer varieties are demonstrating 35-50 percent increases in wood fibre yield. The company employs 85 people in Canada.

Cellex Power Products Inc. will receive an investment of $9.5 million towards a $28.9-million project to further its development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell power units for industrial vehicles, such as forklifts.

Cellex is developing a hybrid fuel cell/battery technology to replace standard lead acid batteries currently used in electric lift trucks. This project will allow Cellex to undertake the research and development necessary to bring down costs and increase the reliability, longevity, durability and performance of its power units. While initially focused on industrial lift trucks, in the longer term Cellex intends to develop products for use in other small industrial vehicles currently powered by batteries or internal combustion engines, such as airport ground support equipment, mining vehicles, personnel carriers, and commercial sweepers and scrubbers. Located in Richmond, Cellex employs 22 people, 16 of whom work directly in research and development.

General Hydrogen (Canada) Corporation will receive a $9 million investment toward a $28-million project to further the development and commercialization of its integrated systems modules and associated Hydricity™ packs.

Integrated system modules provide process control and fluid management for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems under 50 kW. These modules will simplify fuel cell system development, reduce the cost of fuel cell power systems, and foster the development of fuel cell applications.

Hydricity™ packs are complete, self-contained fuel cell power systems that can replace conventional lead-acid batteries in electric lift trucks and other mobile and stationary applications. Hydricity™ packs offer reduced operating costs through improved running time and performance, and can be fuelled quickly without removal, thereby eliminating the need for battery changing, charging and maintenance equipment. In this project, Hydricity™ packs will serve as a test platform for integrated system modules technology and provide a viable early-market product to help further the fuel cell industry.

Located in Richmond, General Hydrogen has 40 employees, 25 of whom are directly involved in research and development activities.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
    Minister of Industry
    Christiane Fox
    (613) 995-9001
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502