Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) announced the first cohort of finalists for Ontario's Solutions 2030 Challenge – a global call for innovators to propose solutions that could help Ontario industry reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.
The initiative is part of the province’s broader TargetGHG program, which is administered by OCE on behalf of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
A three-phase competition over three years, Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge is designed to identify and accelerate the development of technologies with strong potential to help Ontario meet its 2030 emissions targets as part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan. Six finalists were selected from the 20 Challenge semi-finalists announced in December, with more finalists expected to be announced in the coming months.
With up to $7 million in funding, including up to $3 million in support for the winning team to bring its transformative technology to market, the Challenge asks teams and industry to collaborate in envisioning a path forward to tackle climate change in Ontario and around the world.
The six finalists are invited to proceed to Phase 2 of the Challenge and awarded up to $250,000 each to support costs related to their participation.
Phase 2 of the Challenge requires finalists to develop the next iteration of their technology in Ontario. The top four teams from Phase 2 will be invited to participate in Phase 3 and awarded up to $750,000 each to support costs related to their participation in a customer demonstration project with an industrial facility in Ontario.
“Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge is an important initiative to help Ontario industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation. “The innovative solutions developed by the finalists, both local and international, show Ontario's strong stewardship in advancing the cleantech sector on a global scale. I wish the six finalists and their industry partners great success as they work together toward a cleaner and more sustainable environment.”
The program aims to help Ontario meet the emissions reduction targets set in its Climate Change Action Plan, while supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the province, facilitating job growth and strengthening the economy.
“I would like to congratulate the first six finalists from across North America who are working to bring the most innovative technology solutions to this battle against the effects of climate change,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “We look forward to seeing how far these teams will go in Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge and its mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our shared environment.”
The six teams selected to proceed to Phase 2 of the Challenge are:
- Carbicrete – Quebec-Montreal
Carbicrete is a Montreal-based start-up that offers concrete manufacturers the process, materials and support to make cement-free, carbon-negative concrete. Their process replaces cement with steel slag and cures blocks utilizing CO2, which is then captured in the blocks. This project would allow the team members to bring the technology they have been developing in a lab at McGill University to Ontario to develop their first customer demonstration.
- Catalytic Innovations – USA-Boston
Catalytic Innovations was founded by scientists from Yale University. The company, now based in Boston, has developed a non-biological, electrically-driven reactor for the production of ethanol from CO2. The proposed project would allow the team to scale up its technology and develop a pilot in Ontario.
- CVMR – Ontario-Toronto
CVMR is an established company with a history of developing technologies for the extracting and refining of metals for the mining and manufacturing industries. Currently, they utilize CO2 and/or CH4 (methane, natural gas, or renewable natural gas) as two separate and distinct inputs, for comparative analyses and evaluation of their cost effectiveness, to produce graphene and graphite at an existing proprietary CVD (chemical vapor deposition) pilot facility in Toronto. The proposed project would be the piloting of a CO2 membrane scrubber technology for the use of industrial stack gas in their existing proprietary CVD pilot plant for the production of graphene and graphite.
- Pyrowave – Ontario-Oakville
Pyrowave, a start-up company based in Oakville, has developed small equipment for plastics recycling to provide low-carbon chemical feedstock to petrochemical producers. Its microwave technology breaks down plastic polymer chains into monomers and polyolefins for the production of new plastics. The proposed project would allow for a demonstration in partnership with a chemical plant in Sarnia.
- Extract Energy (Smarter Alloys) – Ontario-Waterloo
Extract Energy is a spin-off of Smarter Alloys Inc., a Waterloo-based start-up that has developed a Multiple Memory Material (MMM) technology, which can be integrated into a heat engine to extract low-grade waste heat to produce electricity. The team is comprised of mechanical, electrical and materials engineers including Ibraheem Khan, a past recipient of OCE’s Martin Walmsley Award for Entrepreneurship. This project would mark the first MMM technology application for the energy sector.
- Solar Fuels Team – Ontario-Toronto
Geoffrey Ozin, a professor at the University of Toronto, leads the solar fuels research cluster devoted to the development of light-powered processes for the conversion of gaseous CO2 to value-added synthetic fuels, via heterogeneous hydrogenation photocatalysis. This project proposes to develop a laboratory-scale CO2 to fuel device prototype, exemplified by the conversion of CO2 to syngas, CO-H2.
www.nanowizard.info and www.solarfuels.utoronto.ca
For more information, please visit Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge website.