Canada Announces Impact Canada Oil Spill Response Challenge Semi-Finalists


HALIFAX, N.S., October 7, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Everywhere Canada, healthy oceans and waterways provide thriving local economies and resilient communities. Now more than ever, as the country transitions to a net zero economy, the Government of Canada focuses on protecting various ecosystems, from Canada natural heritage and the jobs that depend on it. That’s why we seek next-generation oil spill detection and recovery technologies to protect and preserve our coasts and the natural environment from oil spills due to accidents or system malfunctions.

Today, the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the 10 Impact Canada semi-finalists Oil Spill Response Challengeeach receiving up to $300,000 in funding to develop rapidly deployable oil spill response solutions.

The challenge will assess technologies in two streams: 1) detection, to improve the availability and accuracy of data to inform oil spill response measures; and 2) recovery, to clean up oil spills in aquatic environments as much as possible and accelerate environmental recovery.

The semi-finalists were selected by a committee of oil spill response experts, following a thorough review and evaluation of the entries. They understand:

Detection flow:

  • Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotiafor a rapidly deployable system of robotic surface and underwater vehicles with state-of-the-art sensors, profiling systems and samplers to inform oil spill decision-making and response.
  • Moran Coastal and Ocean Resources Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia (BC), to systematically detect and map anomalies, such as petroleum and other contaminants, through the use of water-based induced polarization.
  • Tactical electronics in Calgary, ABfor a remotely operated surface vehicle capable of detecting, characterizing, tracking and ultimately accelerating the recovery of oil spills in from Canada various aquatic environments.
  • University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MBfor a specialized oil research drone capable of detecting the difference between contaminated and uncontaminated sea ice.

Recovery flow:

  • Aqua-Guard Spill Response Inc. in North Vancouver, BCfor modules capable of mechanically recovering floating oil sheens with high oil and water efficiency.
  • Coastal First Nations Big Bear Initiative in Vancouver, BCfor its Otter Coastal Steward Skimming System – a highly efficient modular oil skimming system that can be easily packed into totes for rapid response to spills in coastal waters.
  • Concordia University in Montreal, Quebecto demonstrate the use of multifunctional surface cleaning agents as an effective and scalable solution for improved oil spill response on Canadian coasts.
  • LGM Canada St. John’s, NLfor improved mechanical recovery with an oil dam that locks in oil while letting water through, increasing towing speeds and reducing towing forces.
  • University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BCfor a mobile system that incorporates nano/microbubble gas flotation with absorption for rapid oil recovery.
  • University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontariofor a technical foam filtration system for on-site treatment of decanted water from intervention tanks to increase their storage capacity.

Semi-finalists will have until the summer of 2023 to develop their prototypes in order to compete to become a finalist in the challenge. Up to five finalists will receive up to an additional $1 million and progress to early demonstrations of their solutions. The Grand Prize winner will receive $2 millionawarded for the best solution providing the greatest net benefit to oil spill response in Canada.

The $10 million The Oil Spill Response Challenge is the seventh challenge launched by Natural Resources Canada under the Impact Canada initiative. The previous six Clean Technology Challenges have been designed to help address some of the from Canada most pressing environmental problems. They are Women in cleantech, Sky is the limit, Power forward, To crush!, Non-Diesel Indigenous Initiative and Charge the future.


“Promoting innovative solutions for the detection and recovery of marine and freshwater oil spills is essential to the protection of the environment and the prosperity, health and safety of Canadians. Through this challenge, we are giving innovators the opportunity to create the tools we need. to help keep our ecosystems safe and respond to accidents while creating jobs and supporting the clean technology sector. This challenge builds on the federal government’s proven track record of prioritizing ocean health, $3.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.”

The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

from Canada marine and freshwater ecosystems are an important part of what makes our country unique. I congratulate the semi-finalists and look forward to seeing what science-based solutions they develop to detect and clean up oil spills. These solutions will greatly contribute to our ongoing environmental response efforts, so that we can continue to protect from Canada waterways and aquatic ecosystems for the benefit of all.

The Honorable Joyce Murray
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

For further information: Contacts: Natural Resources Canada, Media Relations, 343-292-6100, [email protected]; Keean Nembhard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 613-323-7892, [email protected]


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