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How Canada produces energy matters. New investments in innovation creates jobs, attracts international investments, and opens access to new markets. At the same time, new technologies optimize the production of energy while reducing industry’s impact on land, air, and water. The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) is advancing near-commercial technology solutions that will reduce Canada’s oil and gas industry’s environmental impact while addressing economic challenges.

Up to $50 million is now available through the Reducing Environmental Footprint technology competition offered by CRIN. ERA is accepting applications on behalf of CRIN for breakthrough technological solutions that support Canada’s clean energy goals set out by the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. This is one of three funding competitions included in a recently announced $100 million investment in CRIN by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Applications are now closed. The application deadline was Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7h).

The $50 million Reducing Environmental Footprint technology competition is designed to advance technology solutions for high-priority environmental challenges across the oil and gas industry with the intent to export technologies internationally and for application within Canada’s industrial sector. CRIN is seeking submissions from across the country. To submit, you must be a member of CRIN.

The competition is open to technology developers, industry operators, industrial associations, academic institutions, multi-national enterprises (MNE), municipalities, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and others. To be eligible for consideration, applications must have representation of at least one SME and at least one oil and gas producer on the project team.

Watch the informational webinar, held on April 7, 2021.

Up to $10 million is available per successful applicant. The maximum funding will be no more than 50 per cent of the project’s eligible expenses. A minimum of 25 per cent of funding must come from industry partners. Remaining funds can come from a mix of private and public sources.

Click the links below for more details:


The competition is open to breakthrough technology solutions aligned with one or more of the following technology focus areas:

1. Water Technology Development: Solutions for water challenges relevant to the oil and gas industry, including but not limited to:

  • Water treatment technologies addressing input water quality aspects such as total dissolved solids (TDS), organics, total suspended solids (TSS), turbidity, grease, oil, silica,
  • Operational excellence solutions such as novel instrumentation, process control, online analyzers, surface leak prevention, asset integrity assurance, tank inspection and cleaning technologies, feedwater production efficiency improvements, and incorporation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, and other novel digital solutions.
  • Alternative steam generation technologies such as steam from alternative and recycled feedwaters.
  • Technologies to improve the quality and increase reuse of disposal process streams, including reducing oil and grease, TSS, organics, etc., minimizing impacts to groundwater quantity and quality.

2. Methane Emissions, Monitoring, Quantification, and Abatement: Cost effective methane emissions detection, quantification, monitoring, reporting and mitigation technologies from upstream, midstream, downstream, and transportation of oil and gas in order to help industry meet its 45% methane emissions reduction target, including but not limited to:

  • Methane mitigation from oil and condensate tanks, pneumatic devices, compressor seals, dehydrators, chemical pumps, and wells surface casing vent flow.
  • Cost effective and accurate methods incorporating sensors combined with digital platforms to help in methane detection, quantification, monitoring and reporting.

3. Land and Wellsite Remediation: Solutions for land management and retirement of inactive oil and gas assets that involve accelerating timelines to closure, reducing costs, and ensuring sustainability in the methods selected for environmental management. Example technologies and best practices include but are not limited to:

  • Developing fit-for-purpose technologies and best practices.
  • Solutions that support liability management and strategic planning of closure activities.
  • Onsite or offsite remediation solutions.
  • Advanced data gathering, analytical techniques, and platforms that underpin the objectives of this technology focus area.

4. Novel Hydrocarbon Extraction: Novel solutions for accessing and producing hydrocarbons with less environmental footprint, including but not limited to:

  • Thermal, solvent, chemical or CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects in heavy oil reservoirs.
  • Gas, CO2, cyclic injection, or other floods that minimize decline or minimize re-fracturing or down-spacing in light/tight reservoirs.
  • Solvent processes or subsurface heat generation in in situ oil sands.
  • Material handling, aqueous and non-aqueous extraction or other technologies in mined oil sands reservoirs.
  • Downhole treatments that can be applied to restart/reinvigorate shut-in wells.
  • Production processing infrastructure, well architectures/completions, and artificial lift in all reservoirs.

Projects will be assessed on ability to demonstrate a clear pathway to commercialization and to provide significant environmental benefits that contribute to CRIN’s target of 100 megatonnes of CO2e reduction by 2033.

All funded projects must be completed before March 31, 2024, including all project activities, reporting, submission of final deliverables, and other obligations outlined in the Investment Agreement between CRIN and each ultimate funding recipient.


Applications are invited for Canadian projects that advance innovation to the stages of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6-9, as described below:

  • TRL 6 – Product and/or process prototype demonstration in a relevant environment: Prototypes are tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a simulated operational environment.
  • TRL 7 – Product and/or process prototype demonstration in an operational environment: Prototype near or at planned operational system and requires demonstration of an actual prototype in an operational environment.
  • TRL 8 – Actual product and/or process completed and qualified through test and demonstration: Innovation has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development.
  • TRL 9 – Actual product and/or process proven successful: Actual application of the product and/or process innovation in its final form or function.

All Projects supported through this Competition must demonstrate a clear and justified value proposition for economic, environmental, and public benefits in Canada. Technology solutions can originate from anywhere globally, but must be piloted, demonstrated, or implemented in Canada. Projects that involve demonstration, deployment or implementation of a technology at multiple Canadian sites are eligible for funding.

Note: This competition is designed to support pan-Canadian projects and economic activity. At least 90% of total eligible costs must be incurred in Canada. Costs occurring outside of Canada shall not exceed 10% of total Eligible Supported Costs for each funded Project.


Expressions of Interest (EOI) must be submitted using ERA’s Emissions Reduction Information Management System (ERIMS) at Users must create an account and complete all mandatory forms. Late, partial, or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Applicants are encouraged to complete submissions in advance of the deadline. Submissions will be selected through a competitive review process beginning with the EOI and followed by a Full Project Proposal stage for shortlisted applicants.


Canada’s oil and gas industry plays an important role in today’s economy and is faced with the urgent need to reduce its environmental impact and greenhouse gas footprint. Innovation and technology play a critical role in achieving this outcome and demonstrating that positive economic and environmental outcomes can be intertwined. These factors drive CRIN’s focus on ensuring Canada’s energy resources can be sustainably developed and integrated into the global energy systems.

In October 2020, the Government of Canada announced $100 million from its Strategic Innovation Fund (“SIF”) to reduce the environmental impact of Canada’s oil and gas industry and assist with commercialization of new products. The funding will be provided to CRIN over four years and up to $80 million will be invested through three technology competitions seeking high-impact opportunities to accelerate commercialization and ecosystem development to optimize the impact of these investments.

The CRIN technology competitions launching in early 2021 include the following:

  • Digital Oil and Gas technology competition: up to $5 million available
  • Low Emission Fuels and Products technology competition: up to $25 million available
  • Reducing Environmental Footprint technology competition: up to $50 million available

CRIN is a pan-Canadian network focused on ensuring Canada’s energy resources can be sustainably developed and integrated into the global energy supply. By helping to identify industry challenges, CRIN is able to support a market pull to accelerate commercialization and widespread clean technology adoption by bringing together industries, entrepreneurs, investors, academia, governments, and others.

CRIN enables energy solutions that will be applied across Canadian industries, and with the potential for global export, to increase competitiveness and decrease environmental footprint from source to end use. This powerful network facilitates connections and partnerships, amplifying ideas and expertise to produce unexpected solutions for global challenges.

Learn more about CRIN