Ontario provides $3.6M for Ottawa firm's bright idea

Krystle Chow
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The provincial government is giving $3.6 million to help grow a local firm that's focused on making environmentally friendly lightbulbs.

Green lightbulb / environmental / idea

Group IV Semiconductor Inc., which makes low-cost, “solid-state” lightbulbs that it claims use up to 90 per cent less electricity than regular bulbs, is receiving the provincial financing to help expand its fabrication facility at Carleton University and to complete its technology development.

“With the worldwide phase-out of the inefficient incandescent lightbulb, the race is on to find new, greener alternatives to fill the world’s billions of existing light sockets. Group IV’s silicon-based technology has the potential to meet this need with a highly affordable and environmentally sound lightbulb of the future,” said CEO Stephen Naor in a statement.

“Thanks to the Ontario government and others, we now have the resources and people to fulfil this potential in a way that generates jobs and a greener future for Ontario.”

The company – which was named one of OBJ's Startups to Watch in 2008 – currently employs 25 people and said it expects to increase this number to 44 over the next two years.

Group IV said replacing incandescent bulbs in Canada with its solid-state bulbs could reduce greenhouse gases by five million tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking more than 800,000 cars off the road.

It added its bulbs are even more efficient than the compact fluorescent lightbulbs currently being used to replace incandescent bulbs, as CFLs waste approximately 25 per cent of the energy they consume as heat, while incandescents waste more than 90 per cent.

The funding is being provided through the province’s Innovation Demonstration Fund, which has given up to $4 million each to 14 Ontario companies, to date.


Organizations: Group IV, Semiconductor, Carleton University Innovation Demonstration Fund

Geographic location: Ontario, Ottawa, Canada

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