Net Zero Emerging Concepts and Technologies (ECT) Research Program - Nova Scotia

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Notice of coming call for submissions: On July 8, 2024, Net Zero Atlantic will issue the third open call for submissions for Nova Scotia-based projects through the Emerging Concepts and Technology Research Program. Mark your calendars and review resources below from call 2 to get a sense of the level of effort required for proposal submission. If you are interested in further clarification, book a consultation (available until July 7th). Please note: Once the call is open, consultations with NZA will not be offered. Call 3 proposal submission templates will be available here on or before Friday, July 5th.


From laboratory to market

Nova Scotia won’t get to net-zero by 2050 with proven renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. There are still significant knowledge and technology gaps that must be identified and addressed to tackle the most hard-to-abate greenhouse gas emissions in the 2030-2050 period. 

Many of the solutions needed to achieve 2050 net-zero goals need to be invented, proven and scaled up to commercial availability. Bringing critical, emerging technologies and concepts from the laboratory to the market may take decades to achieve. Given the critical importance of action during the next 10 years and the time that it typically takes for emerging technologies to get from the laboratory to market, Nova Scotia cannot afford to wait for market incentives to deliver the level of change required. 

About the program

The Net Zero Emerging Concepts and Technologies (ECT) Research Program will help to expedite this process of moving from the laboratory into market. The ECT-NS Research Program seeks to identify gaps in carbon-reduction pathways for hard-to-abate emissions and to support made-in-Nova Scotia solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions required to achieve net-zero by 2050. The priority research themes include decarbonization of fishing vessels and ferry fleets, nature-based solutions, direct air capture, agricultural emissions, electricity system challenges post 2030 and long term energy storage. Additional themes may be added for each call and will be included in the updated applicant guide when it is made available.

The ECT-NS Research Program is a three-year recurring open call program that will make R&D investments in two areas:

  1. fostering conceptual, early-stage genesis of novel technologies in Nova Scotia, and
  2. evaluating the suitability of technologies emerging in other jurisdictions for Nova Scotia.

The primary objective of the ECT-NS Research Program is encourage and fund the Nova Scotia research and innovation community (both private and academic sectors) to identify and develop a suite of promising, emerging clean technologies, approaches and practices that warrant continued funding from Nova Scotia’s technology incubation ecosystem. 

Please send any inquiries about the ECT Research Program to

Support for the program

The Net Zero ECT Research Program is coordinated by Net Zero Atlantic and is supported by $3 million in funding provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change. The provincial government funding being provided for the ECT-NS Research Program advances actions 13 and 63 of Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth, specifically research on natural carbon sinks – such as soil and forests, which absorb carbon dioxide – and research on new clean technologies and practices to help meet our net zero by 2050 target.

Call 3 for proposals

  • The third call will be open in July 8 and run until August, 2024.
  • The following draft ECT-NS Applicant Guide will act as a reference until call 3 opens.

Find information on the funded projects from previous calls for proposals selected in June 2023 and November 2023.

Call 2 resource materials

If you want to prepare for call 3 by referencing the previous application process, here is a list of valuable resources:

  1. Watch the recording of the Net Zero ECT Research Program Call 2 information webinar here.
  2. Sign up here to be added to Net Zero Atlantic’s mailing list and receive updates on the Net Zero ECT Research Program.
  3. Watch the ECT-Call #1 Debrief here. 
  4. Review documents:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Last updated November 17th, 2023.
ECT-NS Applicant Guide (Call 2 version) 
ECT-NS Proposal Submission Template (Call 2 version) 
ECT-NS Budget Submission Template (Call 2 version) 


“Wild cards” (high-risk, high-reward solutions that are still in early stages of development) have an important role to play in Canada’s transition to net-zero. Wild cards have the potential to fundamentally change Canada’s path to net-zero, and action is required now to ensure these solutions are ready when Canada needs them.”

--Canadian Climate Institute


Net Zero Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change

April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2026