Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, announced a new $4.5-million Impact Canada challenge aimed at accelerating made-in-Canada battery innovation to better position the country in the highly competitive global market.
The Charging the Future Challenge was announced during the 2019 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC), held in Cranbrook, B.C., where ministers from federal, provincial and territorial governments were meeting under the theme Competitiveness and Innovation in Canada’s Energy and Mining Sectors.
Today’s $23-billion global battery industry is expected to grow to more than $90 billion over the next decade, providing a major economic opportunity for Canada across the battery value chain. Central to this growth is the increase in the number of electric vehicles, which are expected to exceed 130 million by 2030, as well as the growing use of storage technology to integrate renewable energy sources into the grid.
The Charging the Future Challenge will help accelerate the most promising Canadian battery innovations from lab to market. During the 18-month challenge, five finalists will pitch their concepts to a jury of experts to win up to $700,000 each to develop their battery prototype. Ultimately, the most promising battery breakthrough will be awarded a $1-million grand prize.
The Challenge 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 outcomes. NRCan is investing $75 million over four years in several challenges, including Women in Cleantech, The Sky’s the Limit, Power Forward, Crush It!, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative and Charging the Future.