Submissions Closed

Emissions Reduction Alberta - Best Challenge


Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is making up to $70 million available in a new competitive funding opportunity. The BEST Challenge targets technologies that demonstrate the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Alberta and secure the province’s success in a lower carbon economy. Innovators with technology scale-up, demonstration, and first-of-kind implementation projects in the areas of biotechnology, electricity or sustainable transportation were invited to apply. Up to $10 million is available per project, and ERA will fund as much as 50 per cent of a project’s eligible expenses. The application deadline was September 13, 2018 at 5 p.m.(MDT). Projects will be selected through a competitive process.

Submission and decision process

Action By Whom Timing
EOI Submission Deadline Applicants September 13, 2018
EOI Shortlist Notification ERA October 26, 2018
FPP Submission Deadline Applicants December 20, 2018
FPP Oral Presentation Applicants Week of January 28, 2019
Funding Decision Notification ERA March 1, 2019

Please review the supporting documents for more information:

For more information, watch ERA’s BEST Challenge webinar from August 2, 2018. Steve MacDonald, ERA CEO, and Mark Summers, ERA Executive Director, Technology and Innovation, share scope and eligibility of the call, the submission process, and timelines for decisions.


Alberta’s electricity, transportation, and biological industries have a significant impact on Alberta’s economy and account for up to 40 per cent of Alberta’s annual GHG emissions. Countries and companies around the world are looking for ways to accelerate projects that can reduce emissions across these areas, while seeking opportunities for more integration between them.

ERA is taking a leadership role in advancing the best technology solutions to help Alberta become more sustainable and economically competitive. These investments are a key driver in diversifying the economy, strengthening existing industries, and establishing Alberta as a leader in the low carbon economy of the future.


Significant opportunities exist in each area and in the intersections between them. Proposals can address a single strategic focus area or span across areas. Applications were invited for projects in field pilot, commercial demonstration or commercial implementation stages. Examples of potential projects include:

  • Novel low- or non-emitting electricity generation technologies
  • Innovation to reduce cost and increase effectiveness of renewable electricity generation
  • Electricity system innovation related to optimization of distribution, transmission, or utilization
  • Technologies to enable high proportions of intermittent and variable renewable electricity on the grid and to create a zero-emissions electricity system for the future
  • Innovation for low- or non-emitting mobility and transportation solutions in commercial, industrial, freight, rail, and aviation applications
  • Low-emissions propulsion technologies, including innovative opportunities related to hydrogen use, electrification, and alternative fuels
  • Next-generation innovative bioenergy and biofuel opportunities, including novel waste-to-energy and renewable natural gas technologies
  • Low-carbon biomaterials, biochemicals, and bioproducts including use of agriculture, forestry, and municipal wastes for value added products and processes
  • Optimization of agriculture and forestry operations to reduce GHG emissions or to enhance natural GHG sinks
  • Other cross-sectoral solutions such as digital optimization, data analytics, automation, “smart” systems, novel systems integration tools, and low-carbon heat. The maximum length for projects funded under the BEST Challenge is three years.


The BEST Challenge was open to:

  • technology developers
  • industry
  • industrial associations
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • research and development organizations
  • post-secondary institutions
  • municipalities
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • government research labs
  • individuals.

Applicants were encouraged to collaborate with other organizations and engage with Alberta’s post-secondary and research institutions. Applications could be submitted from around the world, but projects must be piloted, demonstrated or implemented in Alberta. The size of opportunity and potential for widespread GHG and economic benefits will be taken into consideration during ERA’s evaluation and project selection.


The BEST Challenge is designed to align with Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework (CCITF), and other Government of Alberta initiatives. ERA is a key partner in addressing Alberta’s Climate Leadership priorities. We receive grants from government to deliver on our mandate. This funding is sourced from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund, one of the options Large Final Emitters can use to comply with GHG-reducing regulations. ERA works collaboratively with government, industry and other stakeholders. Together, we can build a better province for future generations. The maximum length for projects funded under the BEST Challenge is three years.

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is a legal tradename of the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation.