TAF supports innovation — three ways
The TAF Board recently approved three new grants all representing innovative approaches to problem solving. Evergreen Brick Works
received $100,000 over one year for its City Works Transportation Lab. The lab will examine “wicked” urban sustainability problems — starting with building multi-stakeholder support for investments in regional transit. Pembina Institute also received $100,000 to conduct research and consultation on urban freight patterns with an eye to creating efficiencies to cut air pollution and congestion. And TAF is supporting Ryerson University Centre for Urban Energy
with $138,000 over two years to test an innovative solar technology that has the potential to improve cold weather performance of air source heat pumps with the goal of developing a net-zero heating/cooling solution for homes in Toronto.
TAF grants program on hiatus for a strategic review
TAF is not currently accepting proposals through its regular grant application process. Following an evaluation of granting practices and strategic priorities, applications will be accepted in the first quarter of 2014. Please subscribe to The Atmospheric e-newsletter for more information about TAF's work and announcements regarding funding opportunities.
Low-carbon social ventures keep on winning
ClimateSpark finalist Rooftop Gardens Inc.
won first place and $25,000 from the inaugural Ontario Centres of Excellence Social Enterprise Student Competition. The goal of the business is to design and install modular and scalable kits that enable rooftop vegetable gardening in urban areas. Venture leader Heather Wray met Denise Brennan from OCE at the ClimateSpark launch gala and learned about the social enterprise student competition. TAF VP Impact Investing Tim Stoate pitched in as a mentor on the winning project. “We were working on a pretty tight timeline and yet he still made it a priority to meet with me in person several times,” says Wray. “Really I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor than Tim.”
Meanwhile, Summerhill Impact Shuttle received $48,645 from OCE’s Social Innovation Program. Shuttle, also supported with a $150,000 contribution from TAF, is a multi-year pilot project to gather and analyze information on individuals’ off-peak driving habits. Once this baseline data is captured, Summerhill will test intervention strategies to improve driver behaviour and reduce vehicle kilometres traveled to address off-peak transportation emissions.