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Alberta invests in new clean technology challenge

The Alberta government and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) are encouraging biotechnology, electricity and sustainable transportation innovators to develop new clean-technology projects to cut their energy costs, while reducing greenhouse gases.

Alberta invests in new clean technology challenge

The BEST Challenge supports industry with innovations, including biojet opportunities developed in Alberta.

Up to $70 million is available through the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Biotechnology, Electricity and Sustainable Transportation (BEST) Challenge. The challenge will help attract new investment, create jobs, cut energy costs, deliver improved environmental outcomes and build a more diversified economy.

Funding for the program is provided by the government through ERA.

“We are looking for innovative technologies that will strengthen Alberta’s economy and reduce GHG emissions. This challenge reinforces the benefits of working across sectors to find clean technology solutions. As always, Albertans are the source of innovation and we are proud to support made-in-Alberta projects.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office

The three focus areas in the BEST Challenge — biotechnology, electricity and sustainable transportation — account for up to 40 per cent of Alberta’s annual GHG emissions.

ERA’s BEST Challenge is open to technology developers, industry, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development organizations, post-secondary institutions, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs and individuals. Collaboration and engagement with Alberta’s post-secondary and research institutions is encouraged. 

“Working across sectors which share similar policy, technical and economic challenges increases the opportunity to break down barriers. Successful projects will reduce GHGs and accelerate scale-up of new value-added products and services that support economic growth, community health and environmental leadership on a local, national and global scale.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

Proposals can address a single industry or span across multiple industries. Eligible technologies can come from anywhere the world, but projects must be piloted, demonstrated or implemented in Alberta. One of the challenge’s focus areas is sustainable transportation. Through the challenge, ERA will seek new opportunities for supporting more fuel-efficient aviation technology.

“WestJet will be a leader in the transition to low-carbon, sustainable air travel. As we continue our growth plan using our young, modern fleet of fuel-efficient aircraft, we see affordable, sustainable jet fuel as the best opportunity to further reduce CO2 emissions from aviation. We support initiatives such as the BEST Challenge to encourage creative and innovative approaches to the development and commercialization of clean fuel technologies here in Alberta.”

Mike McNaney, vice-president, Industry, Corporate and Airport Affairs, WestJet

“Air Canada supports the advancement of innovative solutions to improve aviation’s environmental performance, and welcomes the announcement by ERA to invest in sustainable transportation solutions. Air Canada has improved its fuel efficiency by 43 per cent since 1990, and is investing $10 billion in a fuel-efficient fleet. To date, we have operated eight biofuel flights and will continue to advocate for the development of sustainable aviation biofuels in Canada.”

Teresa Ehman, director, Environmental Affairs, Air Canada

“We have all the right elements present here in Alberta to become a global leader in emission-reduction technologies. This challenge will help identify and implement solutions to tough challenges that we can solve by working together.”

Michael Crothers, president and country chair, Shell Canada

 “Alberta’s industrial biotechnology sector is a growing hotbed of innovative technologies that can reduce emissions while stimulating business opportunities in areas such as biofuels, platform chemicals, industrial solvents, bioplastics and more. Funding from the BEST Challenge will speed up the development and deployment of new technologies.”

Mel Wong, president, BioAlberta

“ERA support gives innovative carbon-reducing technologies a chance to succeed. By advancing new biotechnologies, ERA helps mitigate GHG emissions in the province while creating jobs for highly qualified people, increasing agriculture incomes and boosting the local economy.”

Inder Pal-Singh, president and CEO, SBI BioEnergy Inc.

“AUMA is excited at the potential for municipalities in ERA’s Integrated Funding Call. Municipal governments are looking for innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, while attracting new investment and diversifying their local economies. This call will encourage many municipalities already working with businesses and research institutions to pilot and demonstrate new technologies in their community.”

Barry Morishita, president, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

“ERA plays an essential role in driving innovation in the province of Alberta – by supporting projects which have the ability to reduce emissions through the commercial development of game-changing technology.”

Jamie Houssian, principal, Elemental Energy

“We are glad to see that sustainable mobility, one of CUTRIC's core research pillars, is mentioned explicitly in the challenge. Our consortium has a number of pilot-scale mobility projects, including a Pan Canadian electric bus demonstration and integration trial, and a project to accelerate deployment of low-speed autonomous electrified shuttles.”

Garret Duffy, senior projects development manager, Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium

Projects are selected through a rigorous and competitive process and the application deadline is Sept. 13, 2018. Interested applicants can visit ERA’s website to learn more.

ERA works with government, industry and innovators to accelerate the development and demonstration of innovative, emissions-reducing technologies.


Media inquiries

Government of Alberta