Your ideas can help reduce GHG emissions in Canada’s oil sands

The oil sands are an important source of energy – for Canada and the world. With oil sands production set to grow to 3.8 billion barrels by 2022, the push to develop technology that will reduce GHG emissions is ongoing.

GE’s GHG ecomagination Innovation Challenge, which launched on July 8, is an open innovation challenge to target two of the biggest opportunities to reduce green-house gas (GHG) emissions in the oil sands: new uses for waste heat and improved efficiency of steam generation.

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).

Since its 2005 launch, ecomagination—the company’s commitment to technology solutions that save money and reduce environmental impact for its customers and GE’s own operations—has generated more than US$160 billion in revenue. GE’s own operations have seen a 32 percent reduction in GHG emissions since 2004 and a 45 percent reduction in freshwater use since 2006, realizing US$300 million in savings.

This is the sixth ecomagination challenge; previous challenges spanned the U.S., China, Australia and New Zealand, and the Middle East. GE has a successful history with open innovation challenges; most recently launching an innovation challenge to increase the energy efficiency of seawater desalination, and a challenge to improve electrical distribution with innovative designs.

Innovators from within and outside of the oil industry, in Canada and from around the world, are invited to submit viable commercial solutions to the GHG ecomagination Challenge. Winners can potentially share up to a total CAD$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.

Phase 1 of the GHG challenge aims to create uses for low-grade heat, an oil-sands byproduct that’s typically wasted. Up to five respondents will be awarded development funding and access to GE’s research and technology solutions to move from concept to commercialization. Submissions are due September 30, 2014.

Phase 2 seeks to improve the efficiency of once-through steam generator systems. Up to three entries will receive technology development grants. Submissions are due April 9, 2015.

Can you help meet this challenge? To learn more, go to


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