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Canadian oil and natural gas cleantech funding winners announced

Clean Resource Innovation Network funds AI, robotics used to reduce emissions, improve safety in oil and gas production.

Startup cleantech companies from across Canada are finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce safety risk and protect biodiversity in Canada’s oil and natural gas industry. The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), an industry-led Canadian innovation alliance, recently completed a Digital Oil and Gas Technology competition. The competition provides funding to help companies with promising approaches using the latest in digital technologies bring their ideas to reality.

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Recipient Projects

Recipient projects were selected from a field of over 30 eligible applicants. Projects include use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics or extremely large data sets and analytics tools to aid in the detection and monitoring of industry emissions, and to improve the health and safety of workers and wildlife. The competition is made possible by funding from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Read more: What is cleantech and why it’s bigger than you might think

Canada’s natural gas and oil industry has a reputation as solutions-focused and innovative. Advanced technologies are reducing emissions, streamlining water use, and myriad other applications that continually improve environmental performance.

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Funding Pathways

However, advanced technologies can be costly to develop, and technical expertise doesn’t always exist within a given company or operator. Through various funding pathways including competitions, CRIN is helping to address the gap between technology developers and operators who need in specific areas:

  • Environmental monitoring supporting emissions reduction
  • Operational excellence and efficiency
  • Capital project execution
  • Health and safety.

CRIN funding totals $4 million of the combined project value of nearly $12 million.

Read more: eMPVAPEX: Cleantech that could lower emissions

The Winner’s Circle

The technologies selected for development funding are:

  • Qube Technologies – emissions reduction through continuous monitoring and artificial intelligence.
  • Kuva Systems – machine learning for eliminating false positive readings in continuous methane emissions monitoring.
  • Avestec – intelligent inspection of industrial sites and equipment using tethered flying robots.
  • VEERUM Inc. – a cost-effective, easy-to-maintain method of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect corporate information management systems to virtual reality models of their assets.
  • SensorUp Inc. – artificial Intelligence-driven and internet-of-things-enabled solution to connect frontline workers to improve work safety, quality, productivity and job satisfaction.
  • AERIUM Analytics – automated wildlife detection network and drone-based bird deterrent.

Ginny Flood, chair of CRIN’s board of directors, said, “The collaborative oil and gas innovation ecosystem continues to lead Canada and the world in accelerating the development of technologies that will deliver a sustainable, diverse energy future.” 

Read more: Canadian hydrocarbon cleantech companies among world leaders

And François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, commented, “We are pleased to have CRIN as a partner to build a healthier environment and economy. By seeking projects that advance innovation and clean technologies, CRIN supports long-term economic growth, helps create jobs, fosters innovation and helps Canada meet its emission targets.”