The Quest* Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project has successfully stored one million tonnes of CO2 deep underground in its first year operating. That’s equal to the emissions from about 250,000 cars.

At Shell, we know there are many Canadians with bold, innovative ideas that can help address climate change, and we want to show them that we are as committed to them as they are to protecting our environment. That’s why the Shell Quest*Climate Grant is back for another year, offering three grants of $50,000 to Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs who are motivated to progress their projects and make a positive impact. We look for applicants with projects that focus on energy efficiency, behavioral and social change and/or clean energy initiatives.

View 2016 Quest Climate Grant winners announcement. 

*The Quest Project is a part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), an oil sands joint venture operated by Shell and owned by Shell Canada (60%), Chevron Canada (20%) and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation (20%).

The Shell Quest Climate Grant is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who has reached the age of majority in his or her Province or Territory of legal residence at the time of entry in this Contest.

2016 Grant Recipients

Sojourn labs

Sojourn Labs (Toronto, ON) Phil Lam was working on his PhD at the University of Toronto when he grew frustrated with how difficult it was to get around downtown. Cars got stuck in gridlock, and cycling seemed inconvenient. So, along with his colleagues Jonathan Lung and Torin Gillen, Lam founded Sojourn Labs, dedicated to finding a better way of getting around city streets. Using wires, bike parts and even Tupperware containers, Sojourn Labs created a prototype of an electric pedal-powered one-person vehicle that will revolutionize downtown travel. The 500-watt engine is powered by the rider’s own pedaling - meaning the rider is in complete control of how much energy to exert.  The three-wheeled vehicle is tall enough to be seen by cars, but slim enough to move easily through congestion. It even has a windshield and a small trunk for transporting personal belongings. The addition of a solar panel makes it even easier to power. Sojourn Labs was awarded a Shell Quest Climate Grant not just for its commitment to combating climate change, but for its unconventional, outside of the box thinking on how to make commuting easier, air cleaner and city life more livable.

Borealis wind industry logo

Borealis Wind (Kitchener, ON) Daniela Roeper, now a Mechanical Engineer, was working for a wind farm during her undergraduate degree when she discovered the problem of wind turbine icing. Wind turbines are not safe to operate when there is ice on the blades, which results in significant downtime and revenue loss. Currently wind farms must wait for the ice to thaw naturally, which can take days or even weeks, depending on weather. Roeper estimated that wind farms can lose up to 20 per cent of their annual energy production due to icing each year. While still in school, Roeper founded Borealis Wind to work towards a solution. Her big idea – a retrofit that keeps the blades warm by circulating warm air. Because Roeper never lost sight of the importance of practicality, she made sure the retrofit was affordable and easy to install. The device can de-ice blades in under 90 minutes, meaning wind turbines no longer have to wait for the ice to thaw naturally. This could reclaim up to 80% of the power lost to icing, which equals powering 70,000 more Canadian homes. Borealis Wind focuses on testing and refining the retrofit by working with wind farms, allowing for optimization of the system. For Roeper’s commitment to improving the reliability and efficiency of wind energy in cold climates, Borealis Wind was awarded a Shell Quest Climate Grant.

Carbon Upcycling

Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, AB) Apoorv Sinha, President of Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT), was determined to find an inventive way to reduce carbon emissions. CUT is a Canadian clean-tech start-up that is changing the way people think about carbon dioxide by closing the gap between environmental consciousness and economic growth. The Calgary-based company is working on sequestering CO2 gas and transforming it into eco-friendly solid materials that can be used in a variety of ways – enhancing the strength of concrete and plastic, increasing battery longevity, reducing the weight and cost of solar power cells and even raising the effectiveness of cancer treatment delivery. Inexpensive solids are processed through their patented technology, enriched in CO2, and reduced in size to the nano-scale. CUT’s goal is to show the industry that CO2 is a commodity, not a threat. Rather than it being a cost to business, it can be a product that adds market value. CUT offers an economically advantageous method to fighting climate change which is why it was chosen to receive one of this year’s Shell Quest Climate Grant.

Judging Panel

Steven Pacifico - Director, Energy Exchange
Steven Pacifico - Director, Energy Exchange

Steven Pacifico is an energetic and motivated sustainability practitioner with over 15 years’ experience working in the environmental and sustainability sector—working with corporations, government, and NGOs.  Steven’s experience is focused on developing value driven sustainability and stakeholder engagement strategies.

Steven currently leads Energy Exchange which is dedicated to advancing energy and climate literacy in Canada. Energy Exchange aspires to a future in which Canadians are united in their energy prosperity and sees energy literacy at the core of a sustainable future for Canada. It is committed to fostering an energy culture that will ensure that Canada’s immense and varied energy wealth is used to build a rich and diversified economy and a vibrant and prosperous society.

Prior to Energy Exchange, Steven worked with The Delphi Group, a sustainability consulting company, supporting a wide range of clients with their sustainability strategies, stakeholder engagement platforms, and communications.   Steven has also worked for the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada; the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association; The Falls Brook Centre; and, the Center for Rural Studies for Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Development in San Jose, Mexico.

Steven has a Master of Environmental Studies in Applied Sustainable Development for Organizational Change from York University with a specialization in Business and Sustainability from the Schulich School of Business.  He also has a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences (with Honours) from the University of Guelph.  In addition, Steven has the following specialized training: Global Report Initiative (GRI), Materiality Assessments, EMS/GHG/CSR ISO Standards (ISO 14001, 14064, 26000), Environmental Auditing, Geographic Information Systems, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.  Steven regularly guest lectures at universities and colleges throughout Canada.

Jane Kearns - Senior Advisor, MaRS Cleantech.
Jane Kearns - Senior Advisor, MaRS Cleantech.

Jane is a recognized leader in sustainable innovation, and has extensive experience growing companies at the intersection of business and sustainability. She co-founded, grew and profitably sold a full-service renewable energy company, Clean Energy Developments, and leverages over 20 years of experience in the environmental finance, cleantech and sustainability sectors to help build businesses that matter.

Throughout her career, she has advised entrepreneurs and executives on project and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and business development. She helped launch Columbia Business School’s first environmental finance course, which continues to be taught in the school’s MBA and EMBA programs, as well the School of International and Public Affairs.  Jane is the Co-founder of the CanadaCleantech Alliance, a Board Director at the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) and sits on advisory boards for the MaRS Catalyst Fund and the Pembina Institute’s UnGALA. She was named to Canada’s Clean50 for both 2016 and 2017. Jane holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Jeremy Moorhouse - Senior Analyst, Clean Energy Canada
Jeremy Moorhouse - Senior Analyst, Clean Energy Canada

Jeremy works to advance Clean Energy Canada’s electricity, transportation, and carbon objectives within British Columbia and serves as in-house technical and research lead. He manages research for the Tracking the Energy Revolution reports, and co-authored A Clean Economy and Jobs Plan for British Columbia, outlining how British Columbia can drive down carbon pollution and grow its economy. He also co-authored Lock in Jobs not Pollution and The Cleanest LNG in the World?, a pair of reports on B.C.’s proposed LNG industry. He represents Clean Energy Canada at the Energy Forum – a unique collaboration between clean power producers and NGOs in British Columbia. Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years' experience improving the environmental performance of energy systems across Canada. Before joining Clean Energy Canada, he served as a technical analyst with the Pembina Institute and completed a master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.

Gary Millard - COSIA Coordinator & Innovation Strategist
Gary Millard - COSIA Coordinator & Innovation Strategist

Gary Millard is an environmental scientist working on guiding business and society through our latest energy transition. Gary received his B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary in 2000 and is a Professional Geologist with APEGA. He worked as an environmental consultant doing assessment and remediation of contaminated sites before joining Shell in 2004. After having spent a decade cleaning up contamination, he had a few ideas on how it could be prevented and moved into environmental and regulatory compliance in the oil sands business. Most recently, Gary has been examining clean technology opportunities and other innovations available to the oil sands industry and the energy market as a whole, including coordinating Shell’s participation in COSIA – Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. Outside of work, Gary volunteers with Bike Calgary, an advocacy group helping develop improved infrastructure and support for cycling as a mode of active transport for everyone. He spends his recreation time running and skiing in the mountains.

Christopher Henderson -President, Lumos Energy
Christopher Henderson -President, Lumos Energy

Chris is Canada’s pre-eminent Clean Energy Advisor to Aboriginal communities.  He advises Chiefs and Councils, Tribal Groups and Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations on how to effectively secure and leverage partnership positions in clean energy projects across Canada.  Chris also guides utilities, financial firms, corporations and governments on engaging and partnering with Aboriginal communities.  Chris has catalyzed clean energy projects in every Canadian province and territory.  His book, Aboriginal Power, was published in 2013. 

Chris is also Program Designer and Lead Mentor of the Indigenous Clean Energy 20/20 Catalysts Program, and Chair of the GLOBE Series of Conferences and Exhibitions.

Chris and his partner Andrea have two amazing sons; Isaac and Noah.  He is an honorary member of several Aboriginal communities.  In Inuktitut he is called “Tall Chris”, and has been given the names “Lightning” and “Point of the Spear” by Prairie Cree Nations.  The most fitting of his Aboriginal names may be the one given to him by the Boreal Ojibwe which translates as “On Indian Time”.

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