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Cleantech Forward:
Securing Industry Partnerships

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February 24, 2023

The adoption of cleantech is a critical step that needs to be taken in order for Canada to achieve a net zero economy, but securing an industry partnership can be a long and difficult path to navigate for new cleantech entrepreneurs. 

At Foresight, we facilitate partnerships and collaboration between industry and cleantech innovators through our award-winning SDG Connect Challenge Platform, which drives innovation and the adoption of new technologies. To date, Foresight has run 56 innovation challenges, which are projected to reduce 68 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

On this episode of Cleantech Forward, Foresight CEO and host Jeanette Jackson is joined by two of Foresight’s industry partners: Faisal Mirza, the Senior Project Manager for the City of Vancouver’s Solid Waste Strategic Services, and Bernardita Araya, the Manager of CMPC Ventures, the corporate venture arm of CMPC, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies. Together, the three explore 

  • What industry partners look for when they are shopping for solutions that will help them achieve their emissions targets
  • What they want to see from cleantech innovators who are pitching solutions to them
  • What makes a solution stand out

Faisal Mirza is a Senior Project Manager in the Solid Waste Strategic Services branch with the City of Vancouver’s Engineering Services Department. He works on strategic projects that include Construction & Demolition (C&D) Material Recovery, IT, clean technology, public art, and infrastructure with a focus on the City landfill located in Delta, BC. Prior to joining the City in 2012, he worked for a clean technology investment bank in Toronto performing due diligence on technologies, raising money for companies and funds, and advising on the monetization of carbon offsets. He is a Professional Engineer, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP) and lives in Vancouver.

Bernardita Araya is the Manager at CMPC Ventures, the Corporate Venture arm of CMPC, one of the largest  pulp and paper companies in the world. She holds a PhD in Biotechnology and an MSc from University of Cambridge, England, and received a chemistry degree from Universidad de Chile.  She has more than 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship and science based technology development, with experience in R&D at large corporations, VC and technology transfer.

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The Cleantech Forward Podcast is Supported by Gowling WLG.