OPG, MaRS form partnership to encourage innovation

Toronto: Ontario Power Generation, in collaboration with MaRS Discovery District, announced August 9 that it is teaming up to launch the Generate Innovation Challenge, a partnership competition to “generate future-looking solutions that impact the energy sector.”

          The Generate Innovation Challenge invites innovators from across the country – including startups, scaleups, entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and researchers – to submit ideas, technologies or solutions on four core issues underpinning not only OPG’s challenges, but industry challenges that span all forms of energy generation.

          “OPG is excited to partner with MaRS on this important initiative as they have a strong track record of supporting ventures and entrepreneurs who solve real problems for the real world,” said Nicolle Butcher, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Business Development and Strategy at OPG. “For us, finding innovative ways to deliver clean and reliable power in the most cost-effective way possible is extremely important, and this challenge will help us do just that.”

          “We are excited to support OPG and its innovation agenda in order to build the resilience of Ontario’s energy system,” said Shahab Shahnazari, Director, Innovation Challenges at MaRS Discovery District. “Through the OPG Generate Innovation Challenge, we will foster mutually beneficial connections between OPG and a range of technologies and solutions developed by Canada’s community of innovators.”

          The Generate Innovation Challenge will focus on the following four sector-specific categories, including:

• Workforce & Planning

• Inspection Automation

• Data Collection in Constrained Environments

• Automated Monitoring.

          Solutions that are successful in the competition will gain access to data and information collected over decades of operational experience, procurement support, access to OPG facilities when required, and the technical expertise from OPG staff needed to develop mature solutions. They will also receive an initial prize of $25,000 and the opportunity to grow and incorporate their solutions into the energy sector with a credible, long-term partner like OPG.

          MaRS works with corporations, government agencies and non-profits to develop competitions that challenge Canadian innovators to solve pressing societal problems like climate change and the opioid data crisis. Working closely with OPG, MaRS helped craft the four sector specific challenges that will support the Canadian power generator in their adoption of the winning solutions.

          The Generate Innovation Challenge launched on September 10 during a webinar, with an additional session held on September 11. Applications for all sector categories also opened on September 10 and closed October 10.

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