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The Concordia University Foundation and global investment firm Inerjys Ventures sign a $1.2M partnership to strengthen the cleantech sector

The next-generation agreement will facilitate exchanges between students, researchers and industry leaders
April 16, 2019
By Jake Brennan

Alan Shepard: “This agreement demonstrates Concordia’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for Canadians.”

The Concordia University Foundation (CUF) and Inerjys Ventures have teamed up in the name of clean technologies. The new partnership further solidifies both organizations’ ongoing engagement with the new energy transformation.

Inerjys is a global investment firm committed to accelerating the adoption of cleantech to rapidly mitigate the effects of climate change. Inerjys invests in companies with technologies that are globally deployable and ready for commercialization.

The agreement will see Inerjys invest, through limited partnerships, $1.2 million from CUF’S long-term pool in three of Inerjys’ portfolio companies:

  • AESP Green Energy, which builds scalable off-grid solar solutions
  • Stillgood Foods, whose sustainable snacks combat food waste and local food insecurity
  • Goliath Wind, whose modular rotor turbines challenge conventional wind-industry economics, both in manufacturing and operations

AESP and Stillgood Foods are both Quebec-based companies; Goliath Wind will be incorporated in Canada as part of Inerjys’ commercialization strategy.

‘Setting an example’

The partnership follows CUF’s signing on to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in 2018. In February 2019, Concordia became the first Canadian university to issue a sustainable bond.

This next-generation partnership will also involve Concordia students and researchers exchanging with these three companies at the operational level.

“Being a next-gen university extends to every aspect of Concordia, from our research and teaching to our commitment to community and how we partner with tomorrow’s industry leaders,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard.

“This agreement demonstrates Concordia’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for Canadians, setting an example we hope other institutions will follow.”

A ‘win-win’ partnership

Stephan Ouaknine, CEO of Inerjys, is thrilled to be working with the university.

“Having an institution as respected as Concordia join our limited partnership base is a great boost not just for our portfolio companies but for the cleantech sector more broadly,” he says.

“CUF’s financial commitment will help us continue to source best-in-class cleantech for our portfolio and clearly demonstrates that Concordia shares our goal of mitigating the impacts of climate change. Having access to their socially engaged academic and alumni networks makes this partnership an even greater win-win.”

Howard Davidson (BComm 80), chair of CUF, says the agreement fits perfectly with the foundation’s larger commitment to ethical investing.

“Signing on to the UNPRI and incorporating an impact investments policy in 2018 means the CUF aims to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return,” he explains.

“We achieved that with our sustainable bond issuance in February. But with Inerjys, we’ve gone beyond, creating a truly next-gen partnership by involving our students and researchers in their portfolio of green companies.”

Find out more about the Concordia University Foundation.


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