Canadian Mining Journal


Saskatoon-based IMII launches innovation energy challenge focused on potash and uranium

The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII), based in Saskatoon, has launched its first innovation challenge – the $500,000 Alternative Energy Systems Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is meant to advance technologies that can be put into use by Saskatchewan’s potash and/or uranium sectors. The province is the world’s largest producer of potash, and second largest of uranium. Five finalists will be shortlisted from among all applicants. The winner could receive up to $500,000 to build and test a prototype of their technology at IMII’s member operations.

IMII will promote the five finalists selected to participate in the challenge and, if the technology developed by the winner is successfully piloted in an industrial setting, IMII will assist in its commercialization.

“Developing and adopting low-carbon and resilient technology is a key component of any meaningful plan to address the challenges represented by climate change,” says Al Shpyth, IMII’s executive director. “Innovation challenges have proven to connect technology development with technology adoption.  IMII’s Alternative Energy Systems Innovation Challenge will help to progress technologies that support emissions reductions and lower industry fuel and electricity costs while maintaining the province’s energy resiliency.”

As part of the Alternative Energy Systems Innovation Challenge, IMII is inviting other innovation supporting networks to join them in rolling out the challenge and supporting entrepreneurs, technology developers and businesses in responding to the challenge – which is expected to formally open on October 6, 2020.

Funded jointly by industry and government, the IMII was established in 2012 to support the Saskatchewan minerals industry through innovative education, training, and research and development partnerships.

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