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Collaboration & partnerships

To accelerate the development of technologies to help reduce our impacts on air, land and water resources, Cenovus collaborates with industry peers and actively partners with other industries, organizations, academic institutions, scientists and entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions and develop sustainability initiatives.

Alberta Innovates is a provincial government agency that provides support for early-stage technology developers. Cenovus has worked with Alberta Innovates on a number of projects including development of the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition and our pilot project to advance Solvent-driven-Process (SDP) technology, a steam-free alternative to SAGD production that could materially reduce emissions intensity.

Avatar Innovations collaborates with large oil and gas firms, including Cenovus, to advocate for energy innovations by engaging staff and providing a safe “third space” for energy companies and academia to work together and explore new business opportunities. Avatar is also partnered with Elon Musk Carbon Removal XPRIZE.

COSIA is an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance through collaborative action and innovation.

COSIA’s guiding principle is that all members will have greater success by collaborating on environmental innovation than through our individual efforts. By pooling our resources, and those of the best minds outside our industry, our objective is to develop and share innovative approaches to improve the oil sands industry’s environmental performance.

To date, COSIA member companies have supported 1,143 clean technologies with $1.8 billion. Here are some of the projects we’re working on or have contributed through COSIA:

CRIN is a network of oil and gas industry professionals, innovators and technology incubators and accelerators. Its objective is to increase the Canadian oil and gas industry’s capacity to test, pilot and demonstrate clean technologies that could significantly reduce GHG emissions and improve environmental performance in our industry.

For more information visit the CRIN competition page.

ERA is a provincial government agency that invests in GHG-reducing technologies that are at the demonstration and early commercial stages. ERA has been a key partner for the following Cenovus-led initiatives:

EFL was developed to help Alberta navigate the changing energy system and position itself within a low-carbon future while also facilitating a dialogue to improve public confidence about the energy system in a non-polarized way. Our involvement in EFL allows us to engage with other stakeholders to help shape the energy future, test and gain access to new ideas and solutions, develop potential partnerships to advance technologies and policy ideas and work with targeted groups to accelerate technology that will help enhance Cenovus’s reputation as a responsible developer.

Cenovus, along with Suncor Energy and the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, is a co-founder of Evok Innovations, a first-of-its-kind $100 million investment partnership to connect the energy industry and the global clean technology community. Evok is an independent, entrepreneur-led fund that offers mentorship, access to the oil and gas industry and development funding for early-stage clean technology companies.

Evok’s mission is to accelerate the development and commercialization of environmental and economic solutions that could be applied to other industries in Canada and around the world. Cenovus and Suncor have committed to provide up to $50 million each over 10 years to fund Evok Innovations.

Evok’s investments

Since its launch in 2016, Evok has invested in clean technology companies working on everything from a light-weight boom for marine spill response, to an intelligent visual monitoring solution that reduces operational costs, emissions and safety risks, to a novel new process to generate industrial scale hydrogen from natural gas. For more information about all of the cleantech investments Evok has made to date, visit the Evok Innovations page.

We're reimagining CO2

What if we could turn carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into something useful?

With support from seven member companies, inclusding Cenovus, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) sponsored the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE together with NRG Energy of the U.S. This competition challenged teams from around the world to develop innovative approaches to cossnvert captured CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels into valuable products and consumer goods. These CO2 emissions would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.

On April 19, 2021, five years after launching the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, CarbonCure (Dartmouth, NS) and CarbonBuilt (Los Angeles, CA) were announced as the winners, receiving the final prizes of US $7.5 million each. Learn more about the winners.

What is an XPRIZE?

An XPRIZE inspires innovation and positive change for current problems believed to be unsolvable or with no clear path to a solution. The XPRIZE Foundation is the global leader in large-scale incentive prize competitions that bring together bright minds to find solutions to global problems.

Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre

A legacy outcome of this project in Canada is the creation of the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, a unique facility to commercialize CO2 utilization and conversion technologies. Following the completion of the Carbon XPRIZE competition, the ACCTC will continue as a test centre for new technology development in CO2 utilization. With its unique capabilities, the ACCTC is expected to become a global hub for innovators working on groundbreaking CO2 conversion technologies.

Cenovus is a funder of the Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environment Systems Engineering and Cenovus Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering which conducts research in the area of energy systems and their impacts on the environment, focusing on renewable and non-renewable energy sources. This initiative is a unique opportunity for academics, industry and the province of Alberta, with the support of the federal government through the NSERC IRC Program, to collaborate on projects that are expected to inform better choices on future energy systems for Canadians. Learn more.

On June 9th, 2021, Cenovus Energy joined with Canadian Natural Resources, Imperial, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy to announce the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative. The goal of this collaboration is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the companies’ oil sands operations by 2050 and help Canada meet its climate goals, including the Paris Agreement commitments and 2050 net zero aspirations. Collaboration between industry and government will be critical to progressing the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero vision and achieving Canada’s climate goals. The Pathways vision is anchored by a major Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) trunkline connected to a carbon sequestration hub to enable multi-sector ‘tie-in’ projects for expanded emissions reductions. Read the news release announcing the initiative.

PTAC is a Canadian association with the mandate to facilitate innovation, collaborative research and technology development in the Canadian oil and natural gas industry. PTAC specifically focuses on ways to improve operational efficiencies, enhance environmental stewardship and advance regulatory development.

Working directly with producers, governments, regulatory bodies, technology providers, academic institutions, service and supply companies, entrepreneurs and transporters, PTAC has completed nearly 500 research and development projects since its inception. Cenovus works with PTAC,collaborating on the research and development of technology solutions for industry challenges such as environmental stewardship, operational efficiencies and cost reduction.

ROA focuses on the long‑term sustainability of the Alberta oil sands through eliminating waste and reducing unnecessary costs while improving efficiency, safety and environmental performance within the industry. Since its launch in 2017 with seven member companies, ROA has discovered over $425 million in value across areas such as joint sourcing and procurement, and has aligned the industry to ensure the health and safety of all members in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic.