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News Releases

Three Ontario Teams Qualify as Semi-Finalists in Global Carbon XPRIZE Challenge. OCE earmarks up to $2.5 M to support semi-finalists

October 17, 2016

TORONTO, October 17, 2016- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is thrilled to congratulate three Ontario-based teams among the 27 semi-finalists in the $20 million global NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition. These semi-finalists --­ Pond Technologies, Tandem Technical and CERT -- were selected from 47 international entrants.

"I am proud of Ontario's Carbon XPRIZE semi-finalists as these bright and hardworking researchers, engineers and scientists are on the frontline of fighting climate change,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Ontario is proud to support their work and we wish them the best as they develop ways to make our planet healthier for generations to come."

The three semi-finalists from Ontario include;

  • Pond Technology's Carbon Cyclers – Led by Peter Howard, the team is producing biodiesel and solid biofuel.
  • Tandem Technical – Led by Jerry Flynn, the team is producing health supplements, toothpaste, paint and fertilizers.
  • CERT – Led by Ted Sargent, the team is producing formic acid, an environmentally friendly product, at up to five times lower cost than today’s fossil fuel based processes.

“Congratulations to CERT, Pond Technology’s Carbon Cyclers, and Tandem Technical for making it to  the semi-finals in the prestigious Carbon XPRIZE competition,” says Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Innovative ideas like these are helping Ontario lead the fight against climate change and transition to a low carbon economy. It is inspiring to see Ontario companies delivering the next generation of clean technology solutions that will help the world mitigate and adapt to climate change. ”

The Pond, CERT and Tandem Technical teams will now continue to the semi-finals of the $20 million competition with support from OCE. As a part of Stream 3 of OCE’s Target GHG initiative funded by the Ontario Government with $74 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund, OCE has earmarked up to $2.5 million to assist Ontario teams that have advanced to the semi-finals. This funding, subject to OCE’s program due diligence and eligibility, could be used to develop and demonstrate concepts as they progress in the Carbon XPRIZE competition. Each team will also be assigned a Business Development Manager from OCE during their time in the competition.

“I’m very proud of the work being done by all of these teams to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and repurpose CO2 into valuable products right here in Ontario,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “Incentivizing our homegrown innovators to create disruptive technologies that convert emissions from industrial facilities and power plants into everyday items is a great step forward in the global fight against climate change. The Carbon XPRIZE competition will help accelerate commercialization of new products in our province as they move more quickly from concepts to commodities.”

The Carbon XPRIZE has a mission to inspire the best and brightest innovators in the world to help solve climate change. The teams whose breakthrough technologies have made the semi-finals will demonstrate ways to convert CO2 emissions from industrial facilities and power plants into new products like building materials, alternative fuels, fish food, fertilizer and even shoes. The competition includes two tracks, with one focused on testing technologies at a coal power plant and the other at a natural gas power plant. One winner from each track will receive $7.5 million USD, and scoring will be based on the amount of CO2 converted plus the net value of the team’s products.

Quick Facts

  • Of the 27 semi-finalists, 9 teams from Canada are moving to round two with Ontario having the highest number of participating teams.
  •  Over the past two years, OCE has supported 243 clean-tech related projects leading to the creation and retention of close to 900 jobs.
  • The OCE Target GHG program is supported by the Ontario government with $74 million in funding from itsOntario Green Investment Fund, which is dedicated to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, support cleantech innovation and drive job creation and economic development. 
  • The OCE Carbon XPRIZE Partnership initiative is part of Stream 3 of OCE’s Target GHG initiative funded by the Ontario Government with $74 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund.
  • The Carbon XPRIZE competition began in September 2015 and ends in March 2020.

Media Contact:
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.