Turning challenge into opportunity

Having recently renewed a commitment to actionable sustainability, the province of Nova Scotia joined global giants Michelin, Accenture, Renault Group, BNP Paribas and more at the Movin’ On 2021 sustainable mobility summit.

While COVID-19 turned the event into a “phygital” model of delivery (physical and digital), it did not affect the importance of the summit -to inspire, connect and engage stakeholders towards concrete solutions for more mobility with less environmental impact.

Together with the private sector, Nova Scotia’s post-secondary and
research centres are accelerating transition and leading the development of
decarbonizing solutions through a holistic approach to innovation and growth.
Encouraging, facilitating and incentivizing collaboration between private and public-sector organizations ensures all key participants have a seat at the table.  

Nova Scotia is home to a thriving clean technology ecosystem. Movin’On 2021 was anopportunity to showcase our partners and demonstrate how the province is turning challenges into opportunities. The goal is to connect Nova Scotia’s innovators to the greater sustainable mobility community and inspire conversations that lead to concrete
goals and action plans.  

Our first event, “Capture and Sequester: The future of decarbonization”, leveraged a team approach to addressing decarbonization through innovation, and supporting clean technology companies. Hosted by Nova Scotia Business Inc. President and CEO, Laurel Broten, this roundtable discussion encouraged dialogue between innovators as to how we can remove CO2, produce hydrogen, and restore oceans to address current
actions and future plans.  

The primary theme of “Capture and Sequester” was that our challenges are colossal and our goals and action plans must be equally as ambitious. 
“For us the goal is a gigatonne [of CO2] by 2035,” says Mike Kelland, CEO of Planetary Hydrogen. “There’s a reason we picked that number. Not only is it a big number but when you think about the climate, we have a 34 gigatonne problem right now. So, if we’re not thinking about gigatonnes for these problems, we’re probably not thinking big enough for the solutions we need.”  

Also discussed was the importance of collaboration to achieve success. 

Mark Mosotti, President and CEO of AlterBiota, cites the supportive relationship between Nova Scotia’s private and public sectors as a key driver of technology development, testing and adoption.  

“Technology partners have been really important on the pilot and scaling
front, and we need to have them close by. It’s hard to do much with great tech if it’s far away,” says Mosotti. “We started in Toronto, running around between OEMs and labs to try and access all the equipment we needed.”  

Mosotti credits the Verschuren Centre, an industrial solutions, development and deployment centre located on the Cape Breton University Campus, with streamlining processes while maintaining enterprise autonomy.  

“We found a place that had all of the equipment we needed in a beautiful
environment and a very fair program for accessing the equipment,” says Mosotti. “And, most importantly, they had no interest in keeping the IP, so we’re not diluting our IP ownership in the process.” 

Nova Scotia made waves at Movin’ On 2021, with thought leaders from around the world taking notice of the provinces’ clean technology accomplishments. Acknowledgments were made regarding Nova Scotia’s developments in advanced materials and battery technology. These innovations put Nova Scotia on the map as a global hub for clean technology.   
Impressed with Nova Scotia’s advancement in these fields, Dhivik Ashok, CEO of GoGreenEOT, acknowledged that “what Dubai was for oil, Nova Scotia is for batteries.”  

To build on Nova Scotia’s unique capabilities and talented clean tech community, the province and its partners moved to establish a working group – a Community of Interest. This group focuses on advancing the province’s collective expertise in clean tech, particularly advanced materials and decarbonization. A collaborative group, the Community of Interest comprises multi-disciplinary and multi-sector experts that aim to address – “How can next generation materials help drive decarbonization?”  As Michelin President, Florent Menegaux, said during Movin’ On 2021, it is imperative we “enhance our collective intelligence.” 
Launched by three partners, the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, Materials Atlantic, and the Jeff Dahn Research Group at Dalhousie University, the Community of Interest is a “think-and-do tank” that will work year-round to promote innovation and to develop concrete solutions for truly sustainable
mobility. The overarching goal is to tackle specific challenges that arise as next generation materials targeting decarbonization transition from the benchtop to real world environments. 

While the Community of Interest was launched at Movin’ On 2021, this is only the beginning. The key question – “How can next generation materials help drive decarbonization?” guides activities and will be addressed during the first community event on December 8, 2021. 

The Community of Interest is open to any companies or organizations who would like to contribute to the conversation and explore accelerating decarbonization through next generation materials. 
“Opening up our community brings expertise, partnerships and advanced technological solutions, building on our existing ecosystem to ensure we accelerate solutions through end-end advancement to commercialization and manufacturing uptake, to achieve the rapid decarbonizing all countries have targeted,” explains Dr. Beth Mason, CEO, Verschuren Centre.  
We are all responsible for changing the world for the better so the future affords everyone the opportunity to thrive. Now is the time to turn challenge into opportunity by bringing expertise and ideas together to create the conditions and a broad range of solutions for decarbonization. We have a generational opportunity to take action on climate change, recover and advance our economy, and create more opportunity
by embracing a holistic approach and sustainable solutions. 

Nova Scotia is proud to be doing its part, creating an environment conducive to change, ready to support the development and adoption of technology for a cleaner, more sustainable tomorrow. Join our Community of Interest today.

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