Foresight, COSIA and Alberta Innovates Launch $1.2 Million Cleantech Challenge to Reduce GHG Emissions in Canada's Oil Sands


Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/02/2016 --Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Innovates today announced an ARCTIC Challenge for hot water production technologies. The challenge aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase energy efficiency by identifying alternative methods for generating hot water for mining and extraction processes in the oil sands. Other industry sectors that could benefit from these technologies include water treatment, pulp and paper, and other mining sectors.

The ARCTIC Challenge series is run by the Advanced Resource Clean Technology Innovation Centre (ARCTIC), Foresight's flagship program. The Mining Hot Water Production Challenge is the first ARCTIC Challenge to be sponsored by the federal and Alberta governments, in partnership with COSIA. It represents the collective ambition of Canadian government and industry to work together on solutions that drive low-carbon, sustainable growth and reduce environmental impacts.
"The Mining Hot Water Production Challenge is a tremendous opportunity for cutting-edge innovators to develop solutions that companies need," said Neil Huff, Managing Director of Foresight. "The ARCTIC program connects entrepreneurs with industry on real-life problems, as well as with the funding, support and mentoring they need to develop and commercialize their products."
"In Canada's oil sands, we are fortunate to have some of the world's best minds partnering with COSIA companies," said Dan Wicklum, COSIA's chief executive. "We know that focusing a challenge, and bringing the brightest minds together to face that challenge through successful platforms like the ARCTIC program, propels us towards solutions."
"Alberta is showing the world its leadership in addressing the environmental performance of our oil sands sectors," says Dr. Pam Valentine, Interim CEO of Alberta Innovates. "Alberta Innovates has the unique ability to foster provincial research and innovation in response to complex challenges in core sectors such as energy and the environment," said Dr. Pamela Valentine, Interim CEO, Alberta Innovates. "Our goal is to ensure our province can compete globally with made-in-Alberta solutions."
The deadline for proposals is December 16, 2016. Shortlisted candidates will be selected in January 2017, followed by a Challenge Sprint process in which a total of $500,000 in funding will be available for two to five candidates to advance their solutions. Following the Challenge Sprint, one solution will be selected for additional funding for field testing.

Full details are available here:

The ARCTIC program is funded with support from Western Economic Diversification (WD), BC Innovation Council (BCIC), and NRC-IRAP. The Mining Hot Water Production Challenge is also made possible through the financial support of Alberta Innovates and industry partner COSIA, and the advisory services of consulting partners Tessellate Inc. and The Delphi Group.

Foresight is a BC-based not-for-profit that provides early-stage cleantech innovators with the resources, expertise, and partners they need to accelerate their growth and commercialize their products. Foresight startups have gone on to create millions of dollars in investment and 70+ jobs in Canada. ARCTIC brings together industry, entrepreneurs, and the public sector to find and fund clean technology solutions for resource sector challenges in western Canada.

Find out more at and follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.

COSIA (Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of 13 oil sands producers, representing 90 per cent of production from the Canadian oil sands. Our vision is to enable responsible and sustainable development of Canada's oil sands as a global energy source while delivering accelerated improvement in environmental performance through collaborative action and innovation in the areas of greenhouse gases, land, tailings and water. Since COSIA's inception in 2012, member companies have shared 936 environmental technologies and innovations worth $1.33billion.

Find out more at and follow on Twitter @COSIA_ca.

Alberta Innovates is an important investment in the growth and diversification of Alberta's economy. The corporation, governed by a board and CEO, builds on provincial strengths in health, environment, energy, food, fibre and emerging technologies to produce results that contribute to the province's health, social and economic future. The strengthened research base under Alberta Innovates accelerates innovation for outcomes that benefit all of us, and include improved patient care, reduced carbon emissions, support for newer industries – like biorefineries – and development of new technologies.  Alberta Innovates delivers the kind of cross-sectoral support and leadership that Alberta researchers, entrepreneurs and companies need to thrive in a globally competitive research and innovation context. Services, tools, expertise, partnerships and funding from Alberta Innovates support a broad range of research and innovation activity, from discovery to application, with the focus on accelerating commercial outcomes.

Find out more at