Canadian Manufacturing

Brainstorming a better clean technology innovation ecosystem

by Dan Ilika, Assistant Editor   

Cleantech Canada
Sustainability Cleantech Alberta Canadian Energy Supply Chain Forum CCEMC CESCF clean technology Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation

CCEMC hosted a brainstorming session to discuss how to improve Canada's clean technology innovation ecosystem

CALGARY—The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. (CCEMC) was getting people around the table—okay, about a dozen tables—in Calgary to discuss how to improve Canada’s clean technology innovation ecosystem.

Part of the Canada 3.0 series at the Canadian Energy Supply Chain Forum (CESCF), the CCEMC workshop session saw about 100 delegates from the energy, technology and public sectors put their heads together for a brainstorming session to discuss barriers to innovation and how to grow Canada’s cleantech sector.

“Alberta’s economy is largely, but not exclusively, driven by energy and energy development,” said Kirk Andries, managing director of the Alberta-based CCEMC. “If you look at … the oilsands industry we’re looking at 1.7 million barrels (of production) today, projected to go to six million barrels.

“That’s good for the economy, (but) relative to greenhouse gas emissions that’s a tough one.”


That increased production will increase the absolute emissions of the province, according to Andries, and it’s important to counteract that boost in emissions with reduction technology that will help Alberta reach the goal of cutting emissions by 50 megatonnes by 2020 and 200 megatonnes by 2050.

“That’s a big job and it’s even bigger when you’re trying to do that in a growing economy,” he said.

The not-for-profit CCEMC is “very keen on the generation of ideas,” Andries said, but the flow of those ideas is starting to move like molasses-thick crude oil.

“The funnel that’s collecting all these ideas is starting to dry up, and we really do need to mobilize the innovation ecosystem to help us deal with this global challenge,” Andries said.

That’s where the workshop session came in.

With its open-forum style and no accreditation, the ideas were flowing at the workshop, with participants sharing their thoughts on key challenges to innovation and commercialization, the forming of a leading cleantech industry association and collaboration between companies to get concepts off the ground, among many more.

Check back with Cleantech Canada in the coming weeks as Dale Austin, principal and co-founder of workshop sponsor Tessellate Inc., publishes the collective ideas shared at the brainstorming session.


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