The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Opportunities New Brunswick are launching a climate impact fund to finance private-sector initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with funding coming from the federal government’s redistribution of its recently imposed carbon tax.

The fund will dole out $1.5 million, split into a series of related programs.

“The funds for this program come from the federal carbon tax,” said NBIF Senior Commercialization Officer Paul Thornton in an interview.

“It's flowing through the Department of Environment and Local Government... and Opportunities New Brunswick, as well, because they are really sort of curating the ‘innovation’ portion of the refunds that are coming from the carbon tax.”

Almost half of the money -- $700,000 -- will go towards funding scientific research related to developing climate change responses. $125,000 will go towards early-stage commercialization funding for cleantech companies, $150,000 will go to cleantech startups and $235,000 is earmarked for green initiatives at established companies.

The established companies will be required to pay $20,000 of any approved project, with a budget cap for all projects of $100,000.

The applications for research funding will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts, Thornton said, in a manner similar to how NBIF distributes its other research funding.

“There’s always no shortage of strong projects,” said Thornton. “So I’m anticipating we’ll probably be oversubscribed for this research fund.”

For the commercialization funding, businesses will send in applications for review and a handful will be shortlisted for a pitch competition, where NBIF will decide how to distribute the money.

“Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are developing a technology that will have an impact either on greenhouse gas reduction, or in sustainability,” said Thornton.