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Canada announces four finalists for the Sky’s the Limit Challenge


May 30, 2019
By Natural Resources Canada

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Reducing pollution from aviation will create a more competitive and sustainable industry and is critical for building a low-carbon economy. Creating cleaner fuels are central to those efforts.


Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced the four finalists of the Impact Canada The Sky’s the Limit Challenge with each finalist receiving up to $2 million to develop his or her solution.

The finalists are:

  • Carbon Engineering Ltd for its sustainable aviation fuel, made from air, water and renewable electricity (British Columbia);
  • Enerkem for its sustainable aviation fuels from agro and forestry biomass and from municipal solid waste through a hub and spoke approach (Quebec);
  • FORGE Hydrocarbons Corp for its lipid-to-hydrocarbon biojet project (Alberta); and
  • SAF Consortium for its production of sustainable aviation fuel from flue gas – captured CO2 and low-carbon hydrogen (Quebec).

With the success of the five existing Impact Canada challenges, Minister Sohi announced there will be a sixth challenge on battery innovation, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Launched in August 2018, The Sky’s the Limit Challenge consists of two competitions. First, the Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition challenges Canadian innovators to develop the cleanest, most affordable and sustainable aviation fuel to further reduce pollution from flying. The finalists will now enter an 18-month period to produce the fuel. In March 2021, the team with the best sustainable aviation fuel will be awarded a $5-million Grand Prize to help commercialize their innovation.

Second, in partnership with Air Canada and WestJet, the Cross-Canada Flight Competition is challenging industry to power the first ever cross-Canada commercial flight with a minimum 10 per cent blend of made-in-Canada sustainable aviation fuel. The flight competition is open until Jan. 1, 2021, and the first producer to meet the challenge will win $1 million.

The Sky’s the Limit is one of six cleantech challenges that are part of the Impact Canada Initiative. Challenges were designed to attract a diverse range of problem solvers to generate breakthrough cleantech solutions to some of Canada’s biggest unsolved challenges. NRCan is investing $75 million over four years in the challenges: Women in Cleantech Challenge, Power Forward Challenge, Crush It! Challenge, The Sky’s the Limit Challenge and Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative and the upcoming battery challenge.

Minister Sohi made the announcement during the Clean Energy and Mission Innovation Ministerial meetings in Vancouver, where ministers, high-level officials and business leaders from over 25 countries gathered to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.