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Canada launches challenges to develop cleaner aviation fuel

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi issued a nationwide challenge to Canadians to develop the cleanest, most affordable and sustainable aviation fuel for the aviation sector to further reduce its carbon footprint and fight climate change.

The Sky’s the Limit Challenge stimulates the development of sustainable aviation fuel supply chains so that the Canadian aviation industry can further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and lower the flying public’s environmental footprint. While the Canadian aviation sector has made significant investments in a fuel-efficient fleet, other measures such as sustainable aviation fuel will be required to achieve industry targets of carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

The Challenge consists of two competitions open to a range of innovators and includes significant prize money:

  1. The Green Aviation Fuels Innovation Competition provides $2 million apiece for four teams who develop the most innovative solutions, which, in turn, will support their next endeavor: an 18-month competition to produce the most economical and environmentally sustainable aviation fuel and win the $5-million grand prize; and

  2. The Cross-Canada Flight Competition, where the first participant to fuel a Canadian commercial flight using a minimum 10% blend of made-in-Canada biojet fuel will win $1 million.

Challenge organizers have engaged a wide range of partners to support a biojet supply chain in Canada, including researchers, feedstock supplies, fuel producers and consumers. Air Canada and WestJet will also play key roles in the Challenge by serving as carriers for the Cross-Canada Flight Competition.

The Challenge leverages the international reach of Canada’s Green Aviation Research and Development Network, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to collaborate on projects that can reduce the environmental footprint of the next generation of aircraft engines and avionics systems in Canada.

The Government of Canada is exploring opportunities to purchase biojet fuel for future use in federal aviation fleets once it is commercially available at a competitive price. The Department of National Defence and Transport Canada have indicated their early support for this venture.

The Sky’s the Limit Challenge is the second of five planned challenges under Natural Resources Canada’s $75-million Impact Canada Initiative, which is helping to drive innovation and accelerate the clean growth economy.


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