The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) will provide up to $500,000 to support Avatar Innovations’ venture studio, Avatar Accelerator, in the creation, development and growth of local companies driving energy transition.
“Calgary is not just Canada’s energy capital, it is also Canada’s energy transition capital," said Kevin Krausert, CEO & Co-Founder, Avatar Innovations. "With OCIF’s contribution to Avatar, we will enable the new technologies, leadership and investments required to uniquely position Calgary to be a leader in the global race to a net-zero future.”
Headquartered in the Energy Transition Centre (ETC) in downtown Calgary, Avatar Innovations can earn funding from OCIF over a three-year agreement by achieving milestones that include the creation of at least 12 Calgary startups.
“Calgary is a recognized leader in the global energy transition and this OCIF investment helps local innovators turn their game-changing ideas into real solutions by leveraging the city’s strengths as a cleantech innovation hub with strong industry collaboration,” said Brad Parry, Chief Executive Officer of OCIF.
The ETC is located in The Ampersand building and is a collaboration between the University of Calgary, Innovate Calgary, Avatar Innovations and the energy sector.
“The ETC will be a central node in transforming our energy industry by emphasizing collaboration," said John Wilson, President and CEO, Innovate Calgary. "Innovate Calgary looks forward to supporting and nurturing the startups created through the Avatar Accelerator program by providing access to collision space, IP support, access to expert advisors, access to energy researchers through the University of Calgary and more. Thanks to the funding and support from OCIF and PrairiesCan and many others, Calgary will continue to establish itself as Canada’s entrepreneurial city and energy transition capital.”
In January, PrairiesCan announced an investment of more than $2.1 million to support the ETC to bolster cleantech innovation in Alberta, advance economic opportunities for Canadian businesses, and support Canada's commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Calgary is filled with some of the most innovative experts in the country when it comes to renewable energy and clean technology," said Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. "Based in the heart of downtown Calgary, the Energy Transition Centre sets the stage for Alberta’s innovators to collaborate on clean technology solutions while growing new businesses that lead to high quality jobs for Albertans. Our government is a strong partner in making this initiative a reality, positioning Canadian businesses to capitalize on growth in the clean tech sector and helping support a strong Alberta energy sector well into the future.”
In 2021, the Alberta Energy Transition Study concluded the pursuit of net zero could create 170,000 cleantech jobs and contribute $61 billion in gross domestic product to Alberta’s economy by 2050.
“Significant investment is required to establish Calgary as a global leader and centre of excellence in the transformation of the energy economy," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "We’re proud to collaborate with industry and all orders of government to demonstrate that our city is the place to be for innovators exploring new technologies that will be game changers for carbon removal, capture and storage.”
Avatar Innovations works together with energy industry partners to champion solutions, implement innovation and unlock new business opportunities.
“The Energy Transition Centre will be a catalyst for new and emerging clean technology solutions and local energy transition startups," said Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Climate Officer, Suncor. "Getting to net-zero emissions won’t be easy – and it is initiatives like this that will enhance Calgary’s leadership in Canada’s energy transition. Suncor is proud to be a partner in this initiative; our ongoing collaboration with diverse, innovative partners is critical to our future success.”
Launched by the City of Calgary in 2018, OCIF is a $100 million initiative to make milestone-driven grants to select organizations that strengthen the local innovation ecosystem and align with the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy. Approximately $68.5 million has been allocated to 23 projects.
For more information on the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund portfolio, visit the OCIF website. Visit our Energy and Environment sector page for more information on cleantech in Calgary.
Brad Parry, Chief Executive Officer, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development
Kevin Krausert, CEO & Co-Founder, Avatar Innovations
Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Climate Officer, Suncor
Angie Petretta, Director, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund