Canada Announces Four Finalists for The Sky’s the Limit Challenge $5-Million Grand Prize

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VANCOUVER, May 29, 2019 /CNW/ – 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 percent blend of made-in-Canada sustainable aviation fuel. The flight competition is open until January 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 ChallengePower Forward ChallengeCrush It! ChallengeThe 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. 


“This unique challenge is bringing together Canadian consortia to support an incredible innovation in the aviation industry. I want to congratulate the Challenge finalists who are creating cleaner aviation fuel to grow Canada’s clean economy and create good, middle-class jobs for workers.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Reducing emissions from the aviation sector is a priority for Canada. As the Government of Canada’s champion for Impact Canada, I am proud of the creative ideas and proposals put forward to develop sustainable fuels. Congratulations to the finalists on leading the charge to lowering our carbon footprint in the aviation industry.” 

Karina Gould
Minister of Democratic Institutions

“We truly believe that the environmental challenges faced by the air transport industry can only be overcome by a shared vision amongst every stakeholder. Innovative ideas and collaboration are key elements to accelerate the production and integration of sustainable fuels in aviation. Congratulations to the Challenge’s finalists for playing an important part in making Canada tomorrow’s leader in clean fuel.”

Kateryna Derkach
Director Strategy and Sustainability, GARDN

“WestJet continuously looks at ways to reduce our GHG emissions through investments, technology and a focus on efficient operations. By supporting the development of biojet pathways, such as those proposed by the finalists in The Sky’s the Limit challenge, we can help Canada lead in producing biojet that is both sustainable, as well as economically viable.”

Mike McNaney
Vice-President, Industry, Corporate and Airport Affairs, WestJet

“The development of sustainable aviation fuels is an important step in the Canadian aviation sector’s climate action plan. Air Canada is a leading advocate for Canadian collaboration to develop cleaner fuels and demonstrate their benefits, having conducted eight demonstration and research flights. Our congratulations to the four finalists in their role in advancing these fuels in Canada.”

Teresa Ehman
Senior Director, Environmental Affairs, Air Canada

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