BC Clean Technology Sector Export-Readiness Study (2013)

About the Project

This project identified BC-based companies that have export-ready clean technology-related products and/or services in-line with the Province’s priority export markets in order to explore how the Province’s trade representatives can better support these companies.

During the first three months of 2013, the GLOBE team qualified a comprehensive list of more than 535 companies that are active players in BC’s clean technology sector. Building off this list, GLOBE undertook the following activities:

  • Extensive secondary research on BC’s clean technology strengths and market opportunities in the province’s various priority markets (China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, the UK / Western Europe, and the United States).
  • A detailed online industry survey was used to capture information on clean technology companies in BC, including the size of the company, where the company was currently exporting, where the company would like to export, as well as some of the export challenges and market entry strategies these companies have used in the past to penetrate foreign markets.
  • In-depth interviews with industry leaders and company executives in order to gather updates on the current state of BC’s clean technology industry, identify upcoming “star” clean technology companies, and establish connections to companies in the industry.
  • Interviews with BC provincial trade representatives in each of the province’s priority export markets.

In total, GLOBE’s research connected with more than 110 BC-based clean technology firms, representing approximately 21% of the province’s sector in total.


Key Findings

  1. Nine clean technology segments were identified for the purposes of this study: Biofuels and Biochemicals; Power Generation; Energy Infrastructure; Green Building and Energy Efficiency; Process Efficiency and Abatement; Remediation and Soil Treatment; Transportation; Recycling, Waste and Recovery; and Water and Wastewater.
  2. British Columbia’s clean technology industry is well-positioned to realize opportunities in growing markets for clean technology goods and services around the world, especially in the Province’s eight priority export markets.
  3. Most clean technology companies active within the sector are relatively small in size and revenue earnings. However, the majority of companies surveyed indicated they were already exporting or interested in exporting their products or services to a targeted foreign market.
  4. Surveyed companies identified the United States, the United Kingdom and Western Europe, and Southeast Asia as the top current export destinations.
  5. Surveyed companies indicated the United States, the United Kingdom and Western Europe, and Japan to be of high export interest within the next 12 months. A number of interviewed companies also expressed significant interest in exporting to China and India.
  6. Access to financing, quality market intelligence on potential export markets, and difficulty in navigating foreign financial and political environments were identified as the top export challenges for BC-based clean technology companies.
  7. The majority of companies surveyed and interviewed indicated that they had secured international contracts through leads generated at a trade show or industry event, as well as through successful international partnerships and joint ventures.