Canada Launches Impact Canada Oil Spill Response Challenge

News release

March 9, 2022                                                   Ottawa, Ontario                                   Natural Resources Canada

From coast to coast and all across Canada, healthy oceans and waterways provide prosperous local economies and resilient communities. Now more than ever, as the country transitions to a net-zero economy, the Government of Canada is focused on protecting diverse ecosystems, Canada’s natural heritage and the jobs that rely on them. That’s why we are pursuing next-generation oil spill detection and recovery technologies to protect and preserve our coastlines and the natural environment from oil spills due to accidents or system malfunctions.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, today launched the $10-million Impact Canada Oil Spill Response Challenge, which encourages innovators to develop rapidly deployable solutions to detect oil spills and to increase oil spill recovery rates in a Canadian context.

The Challenge will assess technologies through two streams: detection, to improve data availability and accuracy to inform oil spill response measures; and recovery, to clean up oil spills in aquatic environments to the fullest extent possible and expedite environmental recovery.

The Challenge will also provide the opportunity for innovators to compete for government funding to develop and test their oil spill response solutions. Following the review and evaluation of applications, a review committee will select 10 semi-finalists who will each receive up to $300,000 to develop prototypes. Of these, five finalists will receive up to an additional $1 million for early-stage demonstrations of their technologies. The solution having the greatest net benefit to the Canadian oil spill regime will be awarded a $2-million grand prize.

Innovators are invited to apply for the Oil Spill Response Challenge by the June 1, 2022, deadline.

The Oil Spill Response Challenge is the seventh challenge launched by Natural Resources Canada under the Impact Canada initiative. The previous six cleantech challenges were designed to help address some of the Canada’s most pressing environmental problems. They are Women in Cleantech, The Sky’s the Limit, Power Forward, Crush It!, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative and Charging the Future


“Advancing innovative solutions for the detection and recovery of marine oil spills is paramount for the protection of the environment and the prosperity, health and safety of Canadians. Through this Challenge, we are providing the opportunity for innovators to create the tools we need to help keep our ecosystems safe and respond to accidents while creating jobs and supporting the clean technology sector.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources 

“We’re supporting innovation that addresses climate challenges in Canada and around the world. The Impact Canada Oil Spill Response Challenge is a key part of our commitment to protecting the environment and bolstering our emergency readiness infrastructure. I look forward to seeing the work of Canada’s leading innovators and finding solutions to detect and respond to oil spills more effectively.”


The Honourable Bill Blair

President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness 

“It is incredibly important to protect coastal environments and the habitat and biodiversity they sustain. As economic activity continues to increase, innovative solutions for the detection and recovery of marine spills will keep our oceans healthier for the generations to come.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations


Ian Cameron

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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