OCE-Carbon XPRIZE Partnership

OCE and Carbon XPRIZE partner to support cleantech innovation

Ontario is taking a major step in the fight against climate change by making up to $2.5 million available to Ontario-based teams competing in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global challenge to address climate change by incentivizing innovators to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and industrial facilities into valuable everyday products.

As part of Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE’s) $74 million TargetGHG cleantech innovation initiative, funding will be made available to Ontario teams for the development and demonstration of their concepts through the three stages of the Carbon XPRIZE competition which began in September 2015 and ends in March 2020. This initiative is a partnership between OCE and Carbon XPRIZE.

To qualify, teams must be registered by July 15, 2016.

Eligibility for Ontario support:

  • Ontario-based teams that are registered in the XPRIZE and are successful in proceeding to the next stages of the competition may be eligible for the $2.5-million program on a competitive basis
  • Since program details for Ontario support are pending, OCE is not accepting applications at this time
  • Once program details are released, Ontario-based teams can apply directly to OCE

The exact amount of OCE funding per team will depend on how many Ontario teams advance and how far they get in the competition. The OCE funding also requires matching contributions secured by teams themselves.

The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will incentivize development of new and emerging CO2 conversion technologies, accelerating these breakthroughs from laboratory testing to demonstration under real-world conditions. The prize will help identify the most promising pathways for CO2 conversion and prove the technologies can be deployed at power plants and other industrial facilities. There are two tracks to the competition: one focused on testing technologies at a coal power plant and one focused on testing technologies at a natural gas power plant. One winner from each track will receive a top prize of $7.5 million (USD).

Teams will be subject to XPRIZE competition guidelines, including meeting minimum requirements, and will be scored on how much CO2 they convert, and the net value of their products.  

Please see NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE for more information or to register.

NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

S2.5 million will be allocated to support Ontario-based teams to compete in the recently launched NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. Funding will exclusively support Ontario-based activities across the three stages of the competition, including pilot scale demonstration, demonstration in a controlled environment, and demonstration in a real-life environment. Teams will be subject to XPRIZE competition guidelines, including meeting minimum requirements and will be scored on how much CO2 they convert, and the net value of their products. In the event that no Ontario teams are selected to compete and/or Ontario teams are eliminated as the competition progresses, the allocated funds will be re-directed to the Ontario competition described below.

Funding will be split among Ontario teams competing in the NRG COSIA XPRIZE competition, depending on their level of competition to support their Ontario-based activities. Funding from the Program under this component of the Solutions 2030 Stream will be conditional on the team proceeding successfully through the competition stages, and will be accompanied by a "footprint clause" to encourage commercialization of some or all of the solution in Ontario.

Eligibility / Selection Criteria

Teams participating in the NRG COSIA XPRIZE Foundation Challenge must be Ontario-based, and must have successfully made it in to the first round of the Challenge.

The assessment criteria to select projects for funding under the Program will include consideration of GHG emission reductions, industry return on investment, and potential for wide-scale adoption.

Selection criteria may include but are not limited to:

Alignment with the objectives of the program;

  • Emission reduction targets and/or potential;
  • Other environmental benefits/potential;
  • Partner leverage and commitment
  • Potential of the solution for sector-wide adoption;
  • Scalability of the solution-provider;
  • Scalability of the solution;
  • Export and revenues expected;
  • Economic impact potential of the solution provider; and
  • Economic feasibility for industry

Evaluation Process

Teams will be required to submit an application package containing:

  • Full XPrize Round 1 Submission
  • Project Overview for the current round providing detail of GHG reductions/avoided emissions if successful (ON, Canada, America….)
  • Project Timeline for the current round
  • Budget and matching sources

For more information on eligible and ineligible expenses please refer to the TargetGHG Eligible Expenses Guidelines. 

All applications are reviewed by OCE Internal Review Panel (IRP), which is comprised of senior OCE staff. The final funding decision also rests with OCE, through its IRP.

Successful Applicants will be notified by OCE and provided an outline of conditions and additional information necessary to activate the project.

Applicants who are not selected for receipt of funding will receive email notification outlining the outcome. An opportunity for Applicants to discuss the decision with their OCE Business Development Manager will be offered.

Flow of Funds

Successful applicants MUST execute an OCE Funding Agreement within 60 days of notification of award. A copy of the agreement will be generated through OCE’s online system and sent to successful applicants upon project approval.

Funding will flow directly to the company based on a claims and reimbursement model for eligible expenses. Claims can be made when submitting invoices, interim report(s), and the final report, required at the end of the project.

Reporting and Claims Requirements

Applicants will complete reports to the best of their ability. OCE requires the following project reports:

Interim Progress and Claim Report(s)

Interim report(s), including a statement of progress, 3rd party GHG quantification (If applicable), and a financial attestation, will be required at the approximately every quarter. The company will receive notification and a link from OCE’s AccessOCE system to submit the report. OCE MUST receive and approve reports prior to release of funds for eligible claims.

Note: Applicants MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts, and other relevant documentation related to eligible expenses. OCE reserves the right to audit any project expenses.

Final Reports

Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from AccessOCE, OCE’s online system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant wish to begin entering data. If an extension is required, the Applicant MUST request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. After completion of the project, the Applicants and Partners will be required to complete Final project reports (including progress, GHG emission reduction quantification, financials and metrics). Applicant and Partner reports MUST be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.

 When the Applicant and Partner Final reports have been approved, the Ontario Applicant will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project.

 All required Final reports from all partners MUST be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to release the holdback, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Project Metrics

If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Ontario Applicant and Industry Partner will be required to complete annual OCE metrics surveys each April, for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contracts with its government funder. Required metrics reports from all partners MUST be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Survey

Two years after project completion, the applicants will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. OCE requires the information for the assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.