Canada Launches New Challenge to Accelerate Battery Innovation

News release

July 17, 2019                                         Cranbrook, British Columbia                   Natural Resources Canada                   

Canada is building a clean energy future that creates jobs, reduces costs for families and ensures that we remain a destination of choice for international investment. Central to this goal is the growing global battery market that has the potential to change the way we use and store power, providing a major economic opportunity for Canada while directly supporting efforts to mitigate climate change.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today 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., from July 15 to 17, where ministers from federal, provincial and territorial governments are 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 CleantechThe Sky’s the Limit, Power ForwardCrush It!Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative and Charging the Future.

Visit the Charging the Future Challenge website for details:


“The Charging the Future Challenge provides an opportunity to showcase Canadian capabilities and spur innovation in a lucrative industry. With global demand for batteries growing, I challenge all Canadian innovators in the battery chain to apply.”

- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“We are challenging Canadian innovators to recharge their thinking around batteries. As the Government of Canada’s champion for Impact Canada, I look forward to the innovative ideas put forward that will help meet the demand for clean, high-performing batteries.”

- The Honourable Karina Gould
Minister of Democratic Institutions

“The electric vehicle revolution is well on its way globally, and it is critical that Canada does not miss this economic opportunity. Battery technology is evolving rapidly, and we applaud the federal government for this innovative program which will inspire and showcase Canadian technology in this area.” 

- Brad Ryder, President and CEO
Electric Mobility Canada

“As an applied research centre at the forefront of clean energy innovation, we know that battery technology is the key to unlocking the true potential of renewable energy and electric vehicles. The ideas put forward and technological advancements made through this challenge will help build a cleaner, smarter electricity grid for all Canadians, and we are delighted to support the Charging the Future Challenge in this endeavour.” 

- Bala Venkatesh, Academic Director
Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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