Government of Canada invests in clean technology ecosystems 

News release

Investment will support collaboration to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1.5 million cars from the road

October 22, 2020 – Toronto, Ontario

Canada’s oil and gas sector is an important part of Canada’s economy, and workers in the sector have been significantly affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. By working together with the sector, the government can help it rebound, create good jobs for workers and reduce its carbon footprint.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, joined by the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, today announced an investment of $100 million over four years, provided through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), to help the oil and gas sector grow, create jobs and greatly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The investment will help the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) accelerate the development and adoption of innovative technologies and processes that seek to lower the oil and gas industry’s environmental impacts. By developing groundbreaking clean tech and emission-lowering solutions through collaboration, CRIN will support economic growth and create good, well-paying jobs, with cleaner energy from source to end use as the result.

Through this investment, CRIN aims to reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 100 megatons by 2033. This is the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road. In addition, by supporting co-op positions for post-secondary students, work-integrated learning and skills retraining, CRIN will help develop the oil and gas sector’s highly skilled workforce of the future.

This project supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan by building a highly skilled workforce and advancing research in new foundational technology—a key component for future economic growth and innovation. It also supports the government’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.


“The Government of Canada is committed to helping bring together Canada’s research expertise and businesses that are seeking to seize growth opportunities and address challenges through the development, demonstration and adoption of innovative technologies and processes. This investment in the Clean Resource Innovation Network demonstrates how we are collaborating with our energy sector to grow the economy and create jobs, while greatly reducing emissions.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada is leading in groundbreaking clean tech solutions. Investments like this, working with our oil and gas sector, are vitally important to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is how we get to net-zero emissions by 2050.”
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

“Canada is undergoing a transition to a low-carbon and clean-growth economy. Working with industry and the Clean Resource Innovation Network is an important part of our plan to reduce emissions, accelerate clean growth, create jobs, and reach our net-zero climate-change commitment by 2050. This strategic investment will enable emission reductions equal to removing 1.5 million cars from the road for a year and will support the creation of good jobs in Alberta and across Canada.”
- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Canadian oil and natural gas industry is the largest funder of clean technology, and this funding is a clear recognition of the exciting innovation that is happening in the energy sector. The federal government’s support will advance the development of clean technology, and CRIN will be an important network to help enable the transformation to a low-carbon energy future for the long term. This is about reducing our greenhouse gas footprint and developing technologies that can be transferable to other sectors in Canada and other producers globally.”
- Joy Romero, President, Clean Resource Innovation Network, and Vice President, Technology and Innovation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited

“The Indian Resource Council Inc. [IRC] is pleased to be part of the steering committee for CRIN. The IRC has been an integral part of the industry, advocating for responsible First Nations energy development since 1987. The IRC has witnessed first-hand that CRIN has a successful model for bringing together leaders from specialized backgrounds; these include the executive leadership of large international companies, the technicians of small mom-and-pop shops and all those in between. CRIN has stepped up to answer the calls for action for technological advancements in our energy industry to meet the energy demands of the future. We are excited to see the multiple partners working together in this space and the opportunities it will create in the future. Canada is a leader in regulations and technology, and we should be proud of our partnerships with First Nation communities, including those at the table like our First Nations members that make up the Indian Resource Council Inc. We continue this work in partnership with innovative organizations like CRIN and look forward to our continued relationship in answering those increasing demands for energy in a responsible manner.”
- Stephen Buffalo, President and CEO, Indian Resource Council Inc.

“Today’s announcement is yet another step forward in making Canada a global leader in producing clean energy. BDC looks forward to continuing its work with CRIN to support Canadian SMEs that spur innovation and develop groundbreaking technologies that are making a tangible impact on our environment. This funding helps support R&D and commercialization and it contributes to the growth and expansion of Canadian firms, which further strengthens our economy.”
- Michael Denham, President & CEO, Business Development Bank of Canada

“Canadian oil and gas companies were launch customers for GHGSat’s global methane monitoring services. I believe CRIN can act as a similar launch pad into global markets for Canada’s clean tech ventures.”
- Stephane Germain, President, GHGSat 

“The University of Alberta is proud to partner with Canada’s energy sector and, in particular, Alberta’s oil and gas industry. As Canada's top-ranked energy university, we have the researchers and resources needed to support energy evolution by tackling current problems and advancing the pace of innovation. Thanks to the Strategic Innovation Fund’s investment in CRIN, we will continue to work with partners to ensure that Canada is a global leader in clean technologies. This partnership will also provide our students with even more opportunities for training and mentorship as they prepare to join the workforce.”
- Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

“In two years, CRIN has brought together nearly 1,700 members from many sectors with a focus on accelerating the deployment and commercialization of clean technologies in Canada’s oil and gas industry. By connecting members from source to end use, CRIN is creating the conditions to expand Canada’s clean tech capabilities and enhance our sector’s environmental performance and competitiveness. The Government of Canada’s commitment to CRIN demonstrates that growing Canada’s energy and clean tech sectors are critical to helping Canada have a strong economy while achieving its climate commitments.”
- Mark Little, President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor, and Chair, CRIN’s Senior Leaders Forum

Quick facts

  • The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) is a consortium of companies of all sizes, innovators, not-for-profit organizations, government departments and agencies, researchers, academic institutions, and economic development agencies. It involves many of the biggest research and development investors in the country, including Canada’s major oil and gas producers and associations. Since its inception, it has attracted nearly 1,700 members across eight provinces as well as various international locations.

  • This $100-million investment in CRIN to support research and development projects that advance the environmental and economic performance of the oil and gas sector was set out in Budget 2019.

  • The contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy. The investment is part of SIF’s support for network and collaboration projects (Stream 5). SIF supports national innovation ecosystems, pan-Canadian network-led projects that involve a high degree of collaboration to stimulate innovation and commercialization in areas of Canadian advantage and enhance linkages between businesses and academia/research bodies.

  • CRIN will use the SIF investment to administer calls for project applications in seven technology focus areas for activities related to ecosystem growth, enhancement and long-term sustainability. These technology focus areas have the highest potential for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint of the oil and gas sector, helping advance net-zero emissions targets. At least half of this funding will go to small and medium-sized businesses.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links


John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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