University of Calgary (Canada) Energy Transition Centre officially opens for business

Yesterday, the Energy Transition Centre (ETC) welcomed the energy industry, researchers, and investors into their new downtown Calgary space. The centre will support the research and development of new energy technologies while accelerating the commercialization of promising innovations by supporting new startups. This one-of-a-kind initiative nurtures, improves and steers emerging energy transition technologies into profitable startup businesses.

Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and CIBC announced an initial investment in the ETC earlier this year, bringing together UCalgary, Innovate Calgary and Avatar Innovations to collaborate with the energy industry. The doors to the downtown office officially open this week.

Puneet Mannan, associate director of the Energy Transition Centre, highlights the collaborative opportunities available to researchers from academia and industry.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

“As Canada and the world continue to move toward a cleaner and more sustainable economy, our government is supporting our energy industry and its workers in being at the forefront of developing clean technologies,” says Dan Vandal, minister for PrairiesCan.

“Our investments in the Energy Transition Centre and tax credits for clean technologies and clean hydrogen from the Fall Economic Statement, will make a positive and lasting impact on our economy, the environment, and the many families and communities who depend on Alberta’s energy sector for good-paying jobs and a high quality of life.”

“Our investment in the Energy Transition Centre will help enable small- and medium-sized cleantech companies to grow and create quality jobs here in Calgary,” adds George Chahal, member of parliament for Calgary Skyview. “I’m proud to see our government building on Alberta’s energy expertise, talents and strengths in order to position our province as a leader in cleantech and clean energy applications.”

Novel solutions need novel approaches

UCalgary is a world-renowned place of discovery and a training ground for the talent that will serve tomorrow’s needs. Innovate Calgary brings business acumen and experience with supporting researchers and startups to make an impact as can be seen with the success of Life Sciences Innovation Hub. Together they are taking a unique approach aimed at connecting industry and community with research and technology developed at the university, tapping into the talent, expertise and resources available on campus.

“As a top research university located in the energy centre of Canada, the University of Calgary is excited to work with Innovate Calgary and industry partners to find new energy solutions,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor. “Bringing together our top researchers and highly qualified industry professionals, this initiative will create new technologies, generate employment opportunities, and provide innovative energy solutions that will benefit all Canadians.”

Collaboration leads to impact

The ETC will engage all those interested and invested in Calgary’s energy future including large retailers and producers of energy, policy-makers and members of the UCalgary community such as postdocs, researchers, and students to move the needle. This focus on collaboration and integration between academia and industry will truly accelerate the development of energy technologies which often takes decades to develop. This transformational approach not only leads to new energy solutions but also the creation of spinout startup companies, new jobs and economic diversification.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Taking part in the announcement were, from left: Puneet Mannan, Energy Transition Centre; Kevin Krausert, Avatar Innovations; MP George Chahal, Calgary-Skyview; Kelsen Vallee, CIBC; Lin Bai, VL Energy; Dr. Ed McCauley, University of Calgary; Miranda Stahn, Innovate Calgary.

The Energy Transition Centre has embraced ‘innovation’ in its truest spirit – from its foundational structure to programming elements,” says Puneet Mannan, associate director, Energy Transition Centre. “For example, we are testing the limits of collaboration between post-secondary institutions and industry with novel programs such as the Energy Transition Transformative Talent Internships and co-funded postdoctoral fellow positions with the University of Calgary. We are redefining and setting the bar for ‘collaboration’ while discovering energy transition solutions.”

“The energy transition represents a multi-trillion, multi-decade investment opportunity for Calgary that will require collaboration, technology and innovation on a scale never before seen,” says Kevin Krausert, CEO and co-founder, Avatar Innovations. “Avatar Innovations is pleased to partner with the Energy Transition Centre headquartering this opportunity beside Canada’s largest energy companies to win this global race.”