Energy Innovation Brief
Issue 27 | January 25, 2023

In Western Canada and around the world, the energy sector is rapidly transforming to one that promises to be cleaner, greener and more efficient. Each month, the Canada West Foundation’s Energy Innovation Brief brings you stories about technology innovations happening across the industry – in oil and gas, renewables, energy storage and transmission. If you have an idea for a story, email us at:

Canada’s energy transition enablers — organizations leading the way

For our first EIB of 2023, we are looking at energy innovation through a slightly different lens. Rather than focusing on the innovations themselves, this month’s issue highlights some of the organizations that support Canada’s energy researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs as they work to transform the industry. Although they often operate behind the scenes, these organizations are a driving force behind Canada’s energy transition and belong on the radar of anyone interested in energy innovation (that’s all of you).

Avatar Innovations

National, based in Alberta

Avatar Innovations is a corporate venture studio with a unique approach to advancing decarbonization. By engaging emerging leaders from established energy organizations, providing a “safe third space” for collaboration and ideation and guiding the most promising solutions through to capitalization, Avatar is changing the energy industry from the inside out.

B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE)

British Columbia

CICE provides funding to advance the clean energy and decarbonization ideas of B.C.’s innovators. It works closely with leaders from the province’s hard-to-abate industries to match complex problems with local solutions—while still leaving room to fund the next made-in-B.C. breakthrough technology.

British Columbia Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI)

British Columbia

Since 2016, in partnership with the British Columbia and federal governments, BCICEI has been a source of funding for clean energy projects in Indigenous communities. The initiative supports capacity building and opportunities for energy self-sufficiency in remote and off-grid Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia.

Business Renewables Centre Canada

National, based in Alberta

The BRC was launched in 2019 to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy by the commercial and industrial sectors. It provides an education platform and community to help buyers source renewable energy directly from project developers.

Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) Electricity Transition Hub

National, based in Ontario

Launched in 2022, the CanREA Electricity Transition Hub brings together electricity utilities and system operators for capacity-building activities related to renewable energy and grid modernization projects in Canada.


Western Canada, based in Alberta

Operating since 1994 under the philosophy “We do not pick winners. We make winners,” CETAC-West is a private sector, not-for-profit accelerator that helps SMEs develop and commercialize environmental technologies.

Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN)

National, based in Alberta

CRIN brings together the elements of Canada’s oil and gas innovation ecosystem—industry, innovators, tech vendors, academia, research institutes, finance and government—to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies through research, testing and pilots.

Energy Futures Lab (EFL)


For nearly a decade the Energy Futures Lab has worked to address the polarization that often exists when discussing energy in Alberta. By convening diverse sets of stakeholders both directly and indirectly involved in the energy sector, EFL facilitates the collaboration required to find practical solutions to the complex problem of Alberta’s energy transition.

Foresight Canada


Calling themselves “Canada’s cleantech accelerator,” Foresight’s goal is to help Canada become the first G7 country to reach net zero. Through its programs and innovation challenges, Foresight helps turn great ideas into investment-ready businesses and matches climate solutions with investor needs.

Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE)

National, based in Ontario

As an Indigenous-led not-for-profit organization, ICE works to advance the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s clean energy future. Through capacity building, project support, mentorship and relationship development, ICE drives change in the energy industry “all in the spirit of reconciliation.”

International CCS Knowledge Centre

International, based in Saskatchewan

The International CCS Knowledge Centre advances the understanding and use of CCS as a means of managing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the development of CCS projects globally. Its publicly-available resources include lessons learned from Saskatchewan’s Boundary Dam project and other CCS facilities, as well as webinars and research publications.

Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC)

National, based in Alberta

PTAC was created in 1996 to foster R&D collaboration among Canadian petroleum industry stakeholders. Creating these networks allows PTAC to pool intellectual and financial capabilities to solve industry challenges. Since its inception, PTAC has launched over 800 collaborative projects.

QUEST Canada

National, based in Ontario

QUEST’s mission is to enable decarbonization at the community level. Through its workshops and advisory services, QUEST aids in municipal energy planning, increases capacity for local energy projects and supports the growth of resilient communities.

Transition Accelerator

National, based in Calgary

The Transition Accelerator focuses on the Canadian hydrogen economy, decarbonization of buildings, EV market penetration and grid integration including electrification. Through collaboration they solve the major business and societal challenges involved in the energy transition, building the pathways to move Canada to net-zero.

The Energy Innovation Brief is compiled by Brendan Cooke and Marla Orenstein. This month’s edition features contributions by  Brendan Cooke, Marla Orenstein, and Tyler Robinson. If you like what you see, subscribe to our mailing list and share with a friend. If you have any interesting stories for future editions, please send them to .