Charging the Future Challenge: Up to $1M for Innovative Battery Technology

Charging the Future Challenge: $1M for Battery Innovation

Canada is continuing to adopt more clean technologies, batteries included. The battery industry has grown worldwide, particularly in the clean tech sector for electric vehicles and renewable energy. Allowing for more innovative businesses to produce and commercialize batteries is an important step forward for Canada, as the industry is valued at $23 billion. There is potential for battery technologies to optimize weight, energy density, life, range, and costs – and the Government of Canada is looking for innovators to make these big improvements happen.

To achieve these goals, Natural Resources Canada has recently announced an Impact Canada Challenge, the Charging the Future Challenge. Applications are now being accepted.

The Charging the Future Challenge supports the acceleration of the most promising made-in-Canada battery innovation from lab to market. Finalists of the Challenge will be awarded up to $700K to complete their prototype and the grand prize winner will receive $1M to fully demonstrate and/or commercialize the technology. The call for applications closes on October 28, 2019.

About the Charging the Future Challenge

The Charging the Future Challenge is supporting Canada’s clean energy transition with hopes to revolutionize batteries to power up more electric vehicles and boost the grid.

Five finalists will each win up to $700k in grant funding to develop their innovative battery prototype and pitch their concept to a group of panelists. The Challenge jury will pick a grand prize winner who will receive $1,000,000.

The grand prize winner will have demonstrated the most promising positive battery breakthrough and be provided the opportunity to continue developing their innovate battery technology towards commercialization.

Eligible Applicants for the Charging the Future Challenge

Interested applicants for the Charging the Future Challenge should fall under one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Canadian post-secondary institutions;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups;
  • For-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as companies, industry associations, and research centres; and
  • Independent innovators, unaffiliated consortia, and individuals who are Canadian citizen(s) or permanent resident(s) of Canada.

Eligible Projects for the Charging the Future Challenge

Innovative battery technology projects eligible for the Challenge should:

  • Be any type of rechargeable (i.e. “secondary”) battery technology, with an emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs);
  • Not be commercially available and must be disruptive to the battery ecosystem in Canada;
  • Be related to the chemistry, design, management, or manufacturing process of battery components, cells or packs;
  • Be exclusively associated with IP you own or have permission to use; and
  • At the time of application, the technology can fall under any TRL level. However, it must achieve at minimum a testable prototype by the end of the project (TRL 5-6).

Eligible Project Expenses

  • Salaries and benefits;
  • Rent, leasing, maintenance costs, and utilities;
  • Professional, scientific, technical, and contracting services;
  • Travel expenditures, including meals and accommodation; and
  • Overhead expenditures, up to 15% of the project costs, if directly related to the conduct of the project.

Apply for the NRC Charging the Future Challenge

Applicants have the chance for their innovative battery technologies to be profiled across Canada. Projects will be evaluated on: impacts on battery economics and battery performance, feasibility, tech-to-market plan, and environmental and safety impact.

Key dates to keep note of include:

  • Applications must be submitted by October 28, 2019
  • Finalists will be announced in January 2020
  • Finalists’ prototypes must be completed by July 2021
  • Pitch event: Summer 2021
  • $1M Grand Prize winner announced: Fall 2021

To learn more about the program and discuss if your upcoming project is positioned to succeed, please contact Mentor Works. We can also help optimize the application and reporting process.

Funding Funding Now, Contact Mentor Works

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