The Government of Alberta is committing more than $60 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) for the Industrial Transformation Challenge to 14 projects worth more than $225 million. Funds are sourced from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, Government of Alberta; and Justin Riemer, CEO, ERA; made the announcement on Wednesday, July 12 during Calgary Stampede.

If successful, these projects are estimated to deliver annual GHG reductions of 129 thousand tonnes, cumulative reductions of almost 700 thousand tonnes by 2030, and 2.3 million tonnes by 2050. This funding is also expected to create over 1700 person-year jobs in Alberta and have a $337 million GDP impact in the province by 2025.    


AdvEN Inc.
Manufacturing electrodes for use in energy storage systems
ERA funding: $2,000,000 | Project Cost: $5,730,000

Calgary District Heating Inc.
Demonstrating electrified heating and thermal energy storage technologies
ERA funding: $6,500,000| Project Cost: $14,960,000

Canadian Forest Products
Using geothermal energy at forestry operations
ERA funding: $10,000,000| Project Cost: $28,000,000

Canadian Pacific
Converting diesel-electric locomotives to hydrogen fuel cells
ERA funding: $7,000,000 | Project Cost: $24,460,000

Cando Rail & Terminals
Replacing diesel generators in switching locomotives with lithium-ion batteries
ERA funding: $2,000,000 | Project Cost: $4,000,000

Carbon Corp
Improving the material properties of concrete
ERA funding: $5,000,000 | Project Cost: $10,040,000

Converting forestry waste to anodes for use in lithium-ion batteries
ERA funding: $1,800,000 | Project Cost: $5,290,000

Litus Inc.
Harvest lithium from aqueous sources
ERA funding: $600,000 | Project Cost: $1,880,000

Energy efficient manufacturing of silicon lithium-ion battery materials for electric vehicles
ERA funding: $940,000 | Project Cost: $3,270,000

McCain Foods
Implement an electric boiler as part of the potato processing plant’s expansion
ERA funding: $1,650,000 | Project Cost: $3,800,000

Replenish Nutrients
Creating a regenerative fertilizer
ERA funding: $7,000,000 | Project Cost: $23,030,000

Strathcona Resources Ltd.
Capturing carbon from natural gas fired turbines used in oil sands facilities
ERA funding: $7,000,000 | Project Cost: $30,010,000

Universal Matter Inc.
Convert natural gas to low-emissions hydrogen and graphene
ERA funding: $7,000,000 | Project Cost: $64,810,000

ZS2 Technologies
Produce magnesium-based cement as an alternative to existing, alternative cement chemistries
ERA funding: $2,000,000 | Project Cost: $6,520,000


Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. A team of experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and greenhouse gas quantification conducted an independent, rigorous, transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor. ERA’s Board of Directors made the final funding decision based on the recommendation of these experts.


Alberta’s industrial sector accounts for approximately two-thirds of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. ERA’s Industrial Transformation Challenge will advance technology opportunities with significant environmental and economic benefits across Alberta’s major industries. The Challenge is focused on technology opportunities that will be key solutions for achieving net-zero emissions and securing the competitiveness of existing and new industries.

The Challenge focused on technology solutions that are currently not in widespread commercial use and will need significant investment, testing, and scale-up. Funding is open to applicants from across Alberta’s industrial sectors, including petrochemical, agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, energy, and more. The funding opportunity plays to Alberta’s unique advantages, including a talented workforce, locations available to host pilot projects, and concentrated clusters of industrial activity.

Innovators, technology developers, industrial facility owners and operators, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development organizations, universities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs, and individuals were invited to apply. While technology solutions can originate from anywhere globally, they must be piloted, demonstrated, or deployed in Alberta.

Partnerships were encouraged. Consortiums help attract and retain highly skilled workers, increase Alberta’s innovation capacity, engage local communities, and leverage complementary resources. Applicants are encouraged to partner with Alberta’s post-secondary and research institutions, Indigenous communities, co-operative organizations, and municipalities where they can.

Click the links below for more details:

All projects involve field piloting, demonstration, or commercial deployment of technology within the province:

  • Field Pilot: At this stage, the technology or innovation is ready to be field-tested in an operational environment. Projects in this category include scale-up of prototypes to representative pilot scale and subsequent in-field testing of pilot units.
  • Commercial Demonstration: At this stage of development, the technology or innovation is approaching the final commercial product and representative systems have been built. Projects in this category include the demonstration of near- or fully-commercial scale systems in an operational environment.
  • First-of-Kind Commercial Implementation: At this stage, the technology is ready for first-of-kind commercial deployment. Projects in this category will involve the design, construction, and operation of the technology in its final commercial form, with the intent to operate the technology for its full commercial life.

Projects of interest for the Industrial Transformation Challenge included, but were not limited to:

  • Electric boilers, industrial heat pumps, and other means of electrifying industrial heat
  • Onsite industrial clean heat production via geothermal, solar thermal, nuclear, etc.
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Hydrogen end uses in industry (hydrogen-driven equipment/processes)
  • Process electrification
  • Novel hydrocarbon extraction (including electrified and/or non-aqueous processes, application of small modular nuclear reactors, etc.)
  • New processes, chemistries, etc. for cement (including novel clinker substitutes), fertilizer, plastics, pulp and paper, oil and gas upgrading/refining, and other industries.
  • Transformative agricultural technologies and practices including electrification, advanced fertilizers, and mitigation of agricultural methane emissions
  • Novel alternative proteins
  • Step-changes in fugitive methane management
  • Solutions for high global warming potential gasses including climate-friendly refrigerants and fluorinated-gas reduction/substitution
  • New industries and products, such as:
  • Hydrocarbons beyond combustion
  • Energy materials (lithium, vanadium, zircon, etc.)
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Inherently low-emissions greenfield developments