Today I had the pleasure of joining the Climate Change Emissions Management Corporation for the launch of the first phase of the Grand Challenge, a $35 million initiative seeking innovative ideas from around the world that will create new, carbon-based products and markets here in Alberta.
This is an exciting announcement for Alberta. This program is expected to identify multiple technologies that could deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by transforming carbon from a liability into an asset.
Ideas from around the world are invited – but they must be applicable to Alberta. Together we can come up with solutions for our province that can be shared and used globally. That’s what makes this a Grand Challenge.
There will be three phases of funding totalling $35 million over a five-year period:
- Phase one offers grants of $500,000 for up to 20 projects – submissions are due July 15 and winners will be announced in March 2014.
- Phase two will provide $3 million each for up to five finalists that have successfully advanced their technologies.
- The final phase will identify a winner of the Grand Challenge out of second phase submissions – the grand winner will receive a $10 million grant to assist in establishing and commercializing their solution.
The challenge of clean energy production is a global issue – one that no single jurisdiction can tackle alone. It’s extremely important that we continue to invest in new and better ideas – and our early adoption of innovative technologies and policies will help pave the way for a cleaner future.
We have a responsibility to continuously improve how we extract, process and deliver energy to meet an ever-increasing global demand. And clean energy development in one of the biggest opportunities, and one of the biggest challenges, of our time.
We know that Albertans, Canadians and the world have high expectations that we develop our natural resources in a responsible and sustainable way, and we intend to meet those expectations. A large part of our focus has been, and will continue to be, on research and science. I’m proud to say that Alberta has long recognized the importance of innovation and technology to help us develop our resources more sustainably.
As the world marketplace becomes more and more competitive, clean energy security and energy affordability continue to emerge as key issues of concern. The Grand Challenge is an ideal way to showcase the clean energy investment opportunities our dynamic province has to offer.
More than $181 million has already been invested by the CCEMC into more than 49 clean energy projects. It is rewarding to see the fund as a critical mechanism helping to drive innovation as we broaden our focus by exploring and investing in technology that can enable a new carbon reality. The Grand Challenge is an opportunity to further our clean energy story and enhance our competitiveness and global leadership through investing in innovation.
I encourage and invite those interested to submit their innovative ideas that will further enhance responsible and sustainable natural resource development. On behalf of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, I want to thank the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation for the great work they have done and continue to do in our province.
More information can be found at: www.ccemcgrandchallenge.com
– Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development