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GE launches global oil sands ecomagination Innovation Challenge

July 8, 2014 | By Anthony Capkun

July 8, 2014 – GE launched an up to $1-million ecomagination open Innovation Challenge to help accelerate technology development in Canada’s oil sands. The challenge will target two of the biggest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the oil sands: new uses for waste heat and improved efficiency of steam generation.

Canada’s oil sands are the third largest oil reserves in the world (next to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela) and represent a significant source of secure energy for global markets, says GE. Oil sands production is expected to grow substantially over the next 20 years, driving increased efforts for collaboration to accelerate the development of technology that will reduce GHG emissions.

“The opportunity is large in the oil sands. By bringing together the best scientists, technologies and companies from around the world, we believe we can accelerate innovation and bring solutions to market faster,” said Deb Frodl, global executive director, ecomagination.

GE is calling for the best global minds, within and outside the industry, to help develop solutions that can be scaled and commercialized within the industry. The challenge is in two parts, with submissions due September 30, 2014, and March 15, 2015, respectively. Winners of the challenge can potentially share up to $1 million in seed funding to further develop and commercialize the proposed solutions, and will be eligible to become a supplier or contractor to GE on future projects.


“Collaboration is key to solving big challenges,” notes Elyse Allan, president and CEO GE Canada. “GE recognizes that, by working together, we can develop technology that will enable ongoing, responsible development of Canada’s oil resources—an important driver of the country’s economy and future prosperity.”

Strategic advisors for the GHG ecomagination Innovation Challenge include Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES). The winners of the first part of the challenge will be announced in January 2015. Entries are now being accepted at www.geghgecochallenge.com.

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