Alberta’s oil sands are critically important to the provincial economy, both in terms of employment and overall economic output. Despite this immense economic benefit, oil sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sustainable technologies are needed for the industry to survive mounting environmental pressures. Fortunately, innovative products and processes can improve environmental outcomes while also driving the profitability and competitiveness of Albertan energy producers.
This is the central concept behind Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) Oil Sands Innovation Challenge. The program offers Alberta government grants to support the development and demonstration of technologies which can improve bitumen production and processing. Technologies can support in situ or mining extraction and should lead to significant greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits.
The ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge provides up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $10 million in Alberta technology grants.
To apply for oil sands technology funding, applicants must respond to a Call for Proposals. This specific call for proposals is accepting applications until September 7, 2017. This is the first step of a two-phase application process. The full application process takes approximately 6 months to complete.
ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge: About the Program
The Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Oil Sands Innovation Challenge is a competitive call for technologies that reduce GHG emissions and improve the cost competitiveness of bitumen production and processing. Proven technology concepts that have not yet been introduced in Alberta can be eligible for government grants to support prototype testing, piloting, demonstration, and deployment. Collaborations with Albertan post-secondary institutions are recommended, but not required.
Applicants may receive up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $10 million in Alberta business funding.
Potential areas of interest for this program include (but are not limited to):
- Advanced reservoir technologies including solvent recovery, electromagnetic systems, and hybrid processes;
- Improved bitumen upgrading and partial upgrading processes;
- Alternative steam generation methods for in situ recovery;
- Solutions for tailings reductions & management; and
- Novel surface mining and bitumen ore processing technologies.
Technology Development Stages
The Oil Sands Innovation Challenge is a competitive call for projects that fall within a technology readiness level (TRL) of 6-8. This includes:
- TRL 6: Prototype Development and Testing
- TRL 7: Field Piloting
- TRL 8: Technology Demonstration
Applicants Eligible for Oil Sands Innovation Grants
A wide range of applicants are eligible to apply for Emissions Reduction Alberta funding. This includes Alberta-based:
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- Large corporations; and
- Post-secondary institutions.
Although the program is available to a broad range of businesses in Alberta, there must be at least one entity involved in the project that is directly involved in the oil sands sector. If your organization is technology or research-based, collaborating with an oil sands producer or processor is advised.
ERA Oil Sands Research and Development Funding: Project Eligibility
To be eligible for the ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge, projects must:
- Be a maximum of three years in duration;
- Start the program with a technology readiness level (TRL) of 6-8.
How to Apply for Emissions Reduction Alberta Oil Sands Research Funding
To apply for Alberta oil sands innovation grants, interested parties must complete and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by Thursday, September 7, 2017. EOIs can be found online via Emission Reduction Alberta’s website. This is the first step of a two-phase process; it can take approximately 6 months to successfully complete.
How will Submissions be Evaluated?
All ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following factors:
- Technology and Innovation;
- Market and Value Proposition;
- Project Team and Collaboration; and
- Work Plan and Financing.
To discuss your project’s eligibility and get started, please contact Mentor Works. Our team of Government Funding Planners can accelerate and simplify the entire funding process.
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